Thursday, January 23, 2020


The first Saltair, completed in 1893, was jointly owned by a corporation associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called Mormons) and the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railway (later renamed as the Salt Lake, Garfield and Western Railway), which was constructed for the express purpose of serving the resort.[1] Saltair was not the first resort built on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, but was the most successful ever built. It was designed by well-known Utah architect Richard K.A. Kletting and rested on over 2,000 posts and pilings, many of which remain and are still visible over 110 years later.[2]
Saltair was a family place, intended to provide a safe and wholesome atmosphere with the open supervision of Church leaders. While some of the other resorts in the area were seen as "spiritually bleak", a young courting Mormon couple could visit Saltair without worrying about gossip. Trains left from Salt Lake City every 45 minutes,[1] and so long as the boy got the girl home at a reasonable time after the train arrived, parents weren't worried – in part because, from the moment of arriving at the station before the outing until they left the station coming home, they were usually never out of sight of trusted members of the community. More than once, a couple on the way home found themselves in the same car as their parents, who themselves had been dancing at Saltair.[examples needed]

Saltair viewed from the lake, c. 1900
Intended from the beginning as the Western counterpart to Coney Island, Saltair was one of the first amusement parks, and for a time was the most popular family destination west of New York. Some criticism was pointed at the Church over the sale of coffee, tea or alcohol (all of which are prohibited by Mormon doctrine), as well as Saltair's being open on Sunday.[2] The church finally sold the resort in 1906.[3]

Saltair II[edit]

The first Saltair pavilion and a few other buildings were destroyed by fire on April 22, 1925.[3] A new pavilion was built and the resort was expanded at the same location by new investors (again, mostly prominent Mormons), but several factors prevented the second Saltair from achieving the success of its ancestor. The advent of motion pictures and radio, the Great Depression, and the interruption of the "go to Saltair" routine kept people closer to home. With a huge new dance floor – the world's largest at the time –[3] Saltair became more known as a dance palace, the amusement park becoming secondary to the great traveling bands of the day, such as Glenn Miller. Though Saltair showed motion pictures, there were other theaters more convenient to town.
In addition, the first Saltair had benefited from its location on the road from Salt Lake City to the Tooele Valley and to Skull Valley, which in the late 1800s was home to Iosepa, a large community of Polynesian Mormons. Being near a major intersection, Saltair also served as the first (or last) major facility on the road, making it a popular resting area for those travelling by horseback or wagon. When Saltair was rebuilt, however, this traffic was all but gone. Part of the reason was the advent of automobiles, bus and train service to the Tooele Valley, but the other cause was the abandonment of Iosepa, as Polynesians went to homes in the Salt Lake Valley or the community forming around the new LDS Temple in Laie, onOahu in the Hawaiian Islands.

Saltair III on May 22, 2005
Saltair thus had to survive solely against strong competition, and in a dwindling market. Disaster struck in 1931, in the form of a fire which caused over $100,000 in damage, then again in 1933 as the resort was left high and dry when lake waters receded (forcing the construction of a miniature railway to carry swimmers between the resort and the water). Saltair was forced to close during the Second World War, which forced the rationing of fuel and other resources while it took many of the resort's paying customers – and vital employees – out of Utah. Reopening after the war, the resort found the same situation that it had faced in the 1930s. There were so many other entertainment options, closer to home, and the public was no longer in the habit of going "all the way out there". The resort closed in 1958, causing the railroad to cease passenger operations at the same time.[4]
Attempts over the next decade to breathe new life into the resort finally ended in November 1970, when an arson fire was set in the center of the wooden dance floor, destroying Saltair.[1]

Saltair III[edit]

Proximity to Interstate Highway 80, plus new population expansion into the Tooele Valley and the western Salt Lake Valley, prompted the construction of a new Saltair (Saltair III) in 1981. The new pavilion was constructed out of a salvaged Air Force aircraft hangar and was located approximately a mile west of the original. Once again the lake was a problem, this time flooding the new resort only months after it opened. The waters again receded after several years, and again new investors restored and repaired and planned, only to discover that the waters continued to move away from the site, again leaving it high and dry.

Interior of Saltair III Pavilion, August 2002
Concerts and other events have been held at the newest facility, but by the end of the 1990s, Saltair was little more than a memory, too small to compete with larger venues which are closer to the public. While there is occasionally activity now and then, through most of the early twenty-first century, the third Saltair was all but abandoned. In 2005 several investors from the music industry pooled together to purchase the building and are now holding regular concerts there. Bands, singers, & dj's such as Marilyn MansonRob ZombieBob DylanThe UsedDave Matthews BandThe Black CrowesDeadmau5TiestoDJ Baby AnneEvanescencePanic at the DiscoChildren Of Bodom, and other notablehip-hop music and rock music acts have all performed there recently. On February 18, 2011, Kesha performed to a sold out crowd on her Get Sleazy Tour.


Relics of the age of the Great Salt Lake resorts are nearby, and can be seen from the highway. Until recently, the most noticeable of these was the skeleton of car "502", one of the Salt Lake, Garfield & Western's interurban rail cars which sat beside the ruins of an old powerhouse. The powerhouse once fed lights and roller coasters at the entrance to the original Saltair. The rail car was removed on February 18, 2012 by the property owner for safety concerns. Rows of pilings snake outward toward the lake, all that remains of the railway trestle and pier which once led to the earlier Saltair resort. The surviving buildings of Lake Park, one of Saltair's neighbors, were moved to a new site thirty miles away, where the Lagoon Amusement Park has grown around them.
The Salt Lake, Garfield & Western still exists as a common carrier shortline railroad, providing switching service in the Salt Lake City area. However, the tracks no longer reach to the resort itself.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

Saltair has occasionally been used as a backdrop for movies. Key scenes of the 1962 horror cult film Carnival of Soulswere shot in Saltair. The opening scene of the 1990 film The Giant Brine Shrimp was set in Saltair and the lake.[5] A 1960s photo of Saltair II was also featured on the cover of the bootleg Beach Boys album, Unsurpassed Masters, Vol. 19.
The Pixies 1991 song, "Palace of the Brine" is a reference to Saltair.[6]


  1. Jump up to:a b c Carr, Stephen L. (1989). Utah Ghost Rails. Salt Lake City, Utah: Western Epics.
  2. Jump up to:a b Utah State Historical Society. "Utah History to Go: Saltair". Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  3. Jump up to:a b c Utah History Encyclpedia. "Saltair". Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  4. Jump up to:a b Strack, Don. "Salt Lake, Garfield & Western Railway". Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  5. Jump up^ The Giant Brine ShrimpOCLC 34600660
  6. Jump up^ Dan Nailen's Lounge Act: Pixies kill it at SaltairSalt Lake Magazine

External links[edit]


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Rastus and Pep

Just to refresh your memories............. "Rastus, Pep and Victory" A 65  Year Old Tradition
Rastus was a little black doll who sat on the piano at the old Overland Hotel situated just north of the northwest corner of 1st South and State  Street in Mt. Pleasant.  Rastus was a conversation for all the guests of the hotel for many years, and the children in Mt. Pleasant enjoyed walking past the hotel window and looking at Rastus sitting on the piano.  We don't know for sure just how many years Rastus occupied his place in the hotel.

Several years later, in 1913, Manti High School's basketball team came to Mt. Pleasant in a horse-drawn wagon for a game at North Sanpete High School.  They stayed at the hotel that night.  When they left the next morning, they stole the black doll and took it to Manti.

At the next game, when North Sanpete went to Manti to play, the Manti boyse held Rastus  out over the court dangling from a fishing pole.  The Sanpete boys tried to recover the doll, but to no avail.  But at the end of the game, some of the Sanpete boys grabbed Rastus and ran from the gymn with him.  Miss Ryan, an English teacher at NSH had a large fur muff.  The boys quickly handed the doll to Miss Ryan and ran on.  Miss Ryan hid Rastus in her muff and walked calmly toward her buggy as the Manti boys ran in pursuit of the doll.

As the rivalry went on, each school tried to steal Rastus from the one who had successfully got away with him.  Finally to foster good sportsmanship between the schools, it was decided that at each basketball game from then on, the doll would go to the winner until the next game.

In 1938, Rastus seemed to be in jeopardy of losing his home in Mt. Pleasant.  The student body officers and cheerleaders decided North Sanpete really needed some pep, so they purchased another black doll which they named "Pep".  At a pep assembly they held a wedding ceremony and Rastus married Pep.

Things went on pretty well for a long time, but in 1953, North Sanpete fell into a slump.  The school experienced a losing streak, so again the cheerleaders of North Sanpete and the Pep Club came to the rescue.  They purchased a small, black baby doll.   In the assembly they announced that Pep was dead at North Sanpete, so the student body followed the casket out to the football field where they were going to bury Pep ~~~ but they heard a loud clatter from the casket, and they decided Pep wasn't dead at all.  When they opened the lid, Pep jumped out ~~ and she had a baby in her arms ~~ She and  Rastus named the child "Victory".  North Sanpete really needed Victory!

Together, the three dolls were a trophy for each game between the two schools.

Finally, tragedy hit the family!  There were new superintend-ants in both North and South Sanpete School Districts.  Before anyone knew what was happening, the dolls were gone and a new tradition was to replace the dolls that both schools had loved for so many years.

When they were discontinued, Rastus had been a trophy for 65 years (he was the original doll, and so was several years older than that), Pep for 40  years, and Victory for 25 years.  It was with a great sorrow that the students and townspeople alike were told that the dolls were to be used no more.  The original dolls disappeared.  No one seems to know where they went.  They were in Manti's trophy case at the time the decision was made, and no one saw them again.

A Victory symbol trophy was designed to replace the tradition, and supposedly ordered to be made in Salt Lake.  However, it was never done.  Eventually, two "cabbage patch" dolls were purchased, christened Sandy and Pete, and used in their first trophy game on January 24, 1997.

(Not surprisingly)  there are other versions of this story !!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Charlotte Staunton Quindlan Johnson Hyde

Charlotte Staunton Quindlan Johnson Hyde
You would think that a wife of Orson Hyde would be buried in Spring City next to him. You would think that she would have a very distinctive, monolithic marker of granite and stand very tall. Not so for Charlotte Staunton Quindlan Johnson Hyde. Of those many names by which she was called, we can only verify that her name was Charlotte Quindlan Hyde. She lived in Mt. Pleasant, taught school in Mt. Pleasant and died in Mt. Pleasant. Her grave marker is about 18 inches tall made of marble. You literally have to kneel down to read her epitaph there.

Charlotte Quindlen was born 22 of August 1802 at Lower Pensnock, Salem, New Jersey. Charlotte Quindlan was the name used at the Endowment House in Salt Lake City when she was sealed to Orson Hyde in 1852. The marble marker lists her as Charlotte Staunton Hyde as does the Mt. Pleasant History Book. Perhaps the name Staunton came from another marriage. From the dates we find that she was fifty years old when she married Orson Hyde.
The following is taken from the book “Orson Hyde Olive Branch of Israel”
“Orson Hyde was chosen as an original member of the Council of the Twelve in 1835, when the Mormon Church first organized this governing body. Orson's most well-known accomplishment was as a Mormon missionary to Jerusalem (1840-1842) to dedicate the land for the return of the Jews. Because his words have proven prophetic in the many decades since his entreaty, a peaceful garden on the Mount now honors him and his supplication. In 1979 civil authorities in Jerusalem invited the development of a five-acre hillside garden in honor of Orson Hyde.
“Orson Hyde was a remarkable individual. He received esteem in many roles, among them apostle, teacher, missionary, orator, scriptorian, journalist, editor, lawyer, judge, statesman, colonizer, and administrator; also as the husband of eight wives, the father of thirty-three children, a friend of mankind, and a servant of God.
During the years 1850-1852 Charlotte Quindlin Johnson lived in Kanesville, Iowa at the home of Orson Hyde as a domestic assistant to his first wife Marinda. She was already a member of the L.D.S. Faith. She had been divorced from a man named Johnson. She was described as a seamstress who also liked children. She helped Marinda with her children Alonzo, Frank and baby Delila. She was with the Hyde Family at Winter Quarters and as they traveled across the plains to Salt Lake, arriving in 1852. Marinda and Charlotte got along very well.

Orson and Marinda discussed the possibility of inviting Charlotte to become a wife rather than a domestic. Orson had also married Mary Ann Price who for a time was a domestic in his household. Orson and Mary Ann were married in Nauvoo in 1843. Orson talked with Brigham Young about taking Charlotte as another wife and Brigham Young approved. Orson proposed to Charlotte, she accepted and they were sealed as husband and wife in the Endowment House 22nd of November, 1852. She was the fourth wife of Orson. Besides Marinda and Mary Ann, Orson had married Martha Rebecca Browett, who he later divorced in 1850. Martha went on to become the wife of Thomas McKenzie who also divorced her.

In the spring of 1853 we find Marinda, Mary Ann and Charlotte all living together under one roof in Salt Lake. Charlotte, however, was having a hard time adjusting to being a plural wife and departed the family, a mutual decision between she and Orson. They were separated, but never divorced. Brigham Young granted official separation for Charlotte and Orson Hyde in 1859.

Charlotte came to the Sanpete Valley long before Orson shows his influence here. It was during the “big move” with the earliest Saints first to Fort Ephraim, then north to resettle Mt. Pleasant. The first pioneers had been driven out of Camp Hambleton, located one mile west of the current city of Mt. Pleasant. She first made her living as a seamstress then as a school teacher while the settlers still lived inside the fort. A schoolhouse was then built outside the fort. She was fondly called "Aunty Hyde" by her students. She inspired many of her students to become teachers themselves.

In Mt. Pleasant History by Hilda Longsdorf the following description of Aunty Hyde school: “In a little log house about 12x15 feet, on the south side of the street on First North, about midway between State and First West, (in the area where Mary Ursenbach now lives-2008) Charlotte Staunton Hyde taught school. The building was also known and later used for Lesser Priesthood meetings and similar Church gatherings. Mrs. Hyde was a woman who no doubt had earlier in life received quite a liberal education, and although described as “a little old woman who smoked a pipe and was quite deaf,” she was affectionately called "Aunty Hyde". Many amusing stories were told of her school, but with all her students there remained pleasant memories. There being no hand bell, as in later years, the children were always called from their play to the schoolroom with her familiar call, “To Books. To Books. To Books.””

“Mrs. Hyde lived in a little log house west of the school. She often brought her bread to the schoolhouse to bake. She had a skillet with a tight fitting lid and in this, by heaping on it coals from the fireplace, which was in one end of the building, she baked the bread during school hours. She was paid for her services as a teacher with any produce or garden stuff available.
Mrs. Hyde taught for sometime in the log meeting house in the fort. Many attended school. A number of the pioneers were polygamist families and usually were large families. In some cases the entire family had attended her school as was the case in Abraham Day’s family, Joseph, Abraham Jr. , Eli A., Ezra, and Ephraim, children of the second wife, all attended; among others who also in later days became prominent citizens were her students Emaline Seely Barton, Oscar Anderson, William Morrison Jr., Sylvester Barton, Joseph Nephi Seeley, Annie Porter Nelson, Melvina Clemensen Crane, Peter Johansen, Chastie Neilsen, Benta Neilsen, Peter Jensen, Allen Rowe, Henry Ericksen, Miranda Seeley Oman, Wilhemina Morrison Ericksen, Hans Neilsen, William D. Candland, Charlotte Reynolds Seeley, Sarah Wilcox Bills, Celestial McArthur Barton, William A. Averett, Amasa Aldrich, James B. Staker, Maria Tidwell Larsen, Libby Barton Averett, Morgan A. Winters, Eli A. Day, W.W. Brandon, Sarah Davidsen Wilcox, Maggie Peel Seely, Samuel H. Allen, Harry Candland, Albert Candland, Charles Averett, Hazard Wilcox and Hans Neilsen.

Although records show that Mrs. Hyde was not the first teacher in the community, in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on the south side of the center driveway, is a little marble slab now yellowing with age, upon which is engraved: “Charlotte Staunton Hyde, wife of Apostle Orson Hyde, born in Penn., Died in Mount Pleasant, December 3, 1881, age 78. At rest now---Through the kindness of pupils of early days, this stone is erected to her memory, she being the first school teacher in Mt. Pleasant.” M.M.F.C.M.”

Many, many children benefited from her talents, from her love and from her example.

Monday, January 20, 2020


1. Jay Lott; 2. Don Olsen; 3.Jim Averett; 4. Gordon Staker; 5. Gerald Seely; 6. Winkleman; 7. Ron Shelley; 8. Richard Dixon; 9. Frank Lee Pritchett; 10. Leon Brothersen, 11. Stan Turpin; 12. Andy Peterson; 13.  Jack McAllister; 14. Euvona Larsen; 15. Tammie Madsen; 16. John Monsen; 17. Clark Truscott; 18. Peter Hafen; 19. Paula Scow; 20. Reed Syndergaard; 21. Dora Madsen; 22. Joann Carlson; 23. Jackie Ericksen ?; 24. Sue Ann Seely; 25. Kathleen Rowley; 26. Dave Ball; 27 ? 28. ? 29. Brook Larsen; 30. Jack Winterbottom; 31. Allen Frandsen; 32. LaFay Johansen; 33. ?; 34 ?; 35 ?; 36. ?; 37. Patsy Larsen; 38. Sally Rosenlof; 39. Halene Tidwell; 40. Charlotte Madsen; 41. Joan McArthur; 42. Mr. Marsden Allred; 43. Carolyn Jensen; 44. Roger Sorensen; 45. Carma Seely; 46. Veone Shelley; 47. Jay Carlson; 48. Virginia Candland; 49. ?; 50. Sally Peterson; 51. Lois Christensen; 52. Norma Seely; 53. Maxine Brothersen; 54. Karen Jacobs; 55. Peter Jensen; 56. Dave Hafen; 57. Elna Mae Johansen; 58. Welby Barentsen; 59. Larry Beck; 60. ?; 61. ?

Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Journey of Faith ~ Erick and Caroline Gunderson ~ by David R. Gunderson

With permission of David R. Gunderson, we include the following book to our blog.   I will do a few increments at a time, as I have done with the Andrew Madsen and James Monsen histories.  I will also paste the pages over to David's own blog page:
This book will be of interest to not only the Gunderson Family but also to the BrothersonEricksenPeel,   Madsen, Larsen and more.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

from our archives.........Kinema Burns Down

The Elite Theater was built in 1913.

In the late 1920s, 
L.C. and Nada Lund changed the name of the movie house to Star Theater.  Their son, Truxton, later took over the family business and changed the name Kinema. 

The theater, which was considered fireproof when it was built, burned down in 1990.

 Did you Know?  Kinema  is  the British Version of Cinema.    and there are or were hundreds of Kinema's across the United States and world. 

The word ‘cinema’ comes from ‘Kinema’-toscope and is derived from the Greek word kinema-matos meaning the science of pure motion.

  ..And I always thought that it was a cute expression of    "Kinna Ma Go to the Movies?"

Our Relic Home on the far left.

December 25th, 1912 the Elite Theatre, now the Star, presented their first show. Prior to this, some show places had been operat­ing, among them the one on State Street, conducted by C. Purring­ton. History of Mt. Pleasant, Hilda Madsen Longsdorf p. 197

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Elliot Julius Arnoldson

5/20/1927 ~ 1/9/2020

Well, we’ve done it. We finally discovered how long an Arnoldson can truly live. Our track record wasn’t very spectacular until now. At age 92, Elliot outlived his mother and wife by three years, eighteen years longer than his sister, one son by 40 years, his father by 61 years, and his brother by 86 years. All with his staple diet of mutton and gravy.
Elliot Julius Arnoldson escaped the shackles of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia on the morning of January 9, 2020 in Centerfield, Utah after sustaining injuries from a fall a month prior. He was born in Moroni, Utah sometime between May 20th and May 24th in 1927 to Elyoung and Henrietta Christensen Arnoldson. Records were not meticulously kept in those days so no one was certain exactly which day he was born. Tragedy struck early in his life when his six-year-old brother died of diphtheria when Elliot was only four years old and his father died just two years later. Despite tremendous losses and under the grip of the Great Depression he grew up happily pulling pranks and farming under the tutelage of his bachelor uncles, mother, and stepfather, Clark Cloward. Within days of graduation form Moroni High School; Elliot was drafted into the army and served in the Philippines during the final months of World War II. He remained there as part of the occupational forces but was able to come home once on furlough. While attending a dance in Ephraim, he was introduced to a cute little filly named LaRane Bjerregaard. He and LaRane wrote letters to each other during the remainder of his military service and were married upon his return on July 16, 1947. They made their first home on the farm where Elliot attended Snow College and their only daughter, Rinda, was born. The young family soon moved to Preston, Idaho where Elliot taught school and attended The Agricultural College of Utah (Utah State University). He became the first in his family to earn a college degree- but far from the last. They also welcomed their first son, Gary, before moving back to Sanpete. Elliot farmed, taught school, and added a third child, Clair, to their growing brood. The next move took them to Seattle, Washington where Elliot continued his studies and child number four, Layne, joined the family. Their next move took them from the verdant green slopes of Seattle to the grey sagebrush flats of Milford, Utah where Elliot was the principal of the elementary school for two years. Their nomadic lifestyle came to an end with a move back to their beloved Sanpete Valley where he and LaRane rounded out their family with the arrivals of Earl then Wesley.
Elliot worked in educational administration with the North Sanpete School District adding up a total of 38 years in service to students. He was a city councilman and served two terms as mayor of Moroni in the 1970s accomplishing many improvements that are still visible today. Elliot owned a restaurant and campground in Hanksville, Utah for 43 years which was a loved hobby for him and the bane of existence for the rest of the family. He was a lifelong and proud Democrat who believed that the purpose of government is to serve its citizens and he acted accordingly.

Elliot was an avid hunter and fisherman who counted among his favorite memories those in which he was able to be outdoors with family and friends. He was a good natured and gregarious gentleman who loved being around people. He was generous up to the point he would give you the shirt off his back except he was too modest to be seen without a shirt. He had an unparalleled work ethic. To him, Labor Day simply meant you labored more on that day. He instilled in his children and grandchildren the strong value of an education- likely his greatest legacy.
Those missing him most are his grateful children: daughter Rinda (John), sons Gary (Leslie), Clair (deceased), Layne (Sheri), Earl (Christine), Wesley (Ellen), and daughter-in-law and son-in-law JoAnn and Allan Nielsen. He is preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, LaRane, son Clair, great-grandson Danny, sister Maxine, brother Sherwin, and his parents.
A viewing will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Rasmussen Mortuary, 96 N. 100 W., Mt. Pleasant. Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 16, 2020 in the Moroni Stake Center at 11:00 with a viewing from 9:30 to 10:30. Interment will be in the Moroni City Cemetery. The family would like to thank the dedicated professionals at Country Lane Assisted Living Center and Centerfield Community Rehabilitation Center. Their compassionate service to Elliot and his family did not go without notice.

L.D.S. Temple

L.D.S. Temple
Manti Temple
Genealogy Quote

"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."

~Alex Haley