Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomeLocal NewsUtah100-year-old time capsule at Ogden's Union Station yields train timetables, newspapers, pictures

100-year-old time capsule at Ogden’s Union Station yields train timetables, newspapers, pictures


OGDEN — The opening of a 100-year-old time capsule at Union Station in Ogden turned into a history lesson about the city.

The sealed copper box — built into a corner of the old train station — was pulled from its hiding spot during a ceremony Friday evening, 100 years to the day it was placed there. Then a contingent led by Hope Eggett, curator of Museums at Union Station, opened it in front of a live audience, revealing the loot inside — old newspapers, pictures, railroad timetables, promotional material about the city and more.

“Everything looks like it’s in phenomenal shape,” Eggett said as the box was opened and the first items came into view.

The effort started with the excavation of the box from the building — in front of the public — with the help of an expert mason, who removed several bricks from an exterior corner of Union Station to get to its location. Then Eggett offered a history lesson about the building, central in the city’s development and focus of a series of events this year to mark its centennial.

Tim Nimtz, right, uses tools to open up the time capsule at a reveal inside Union Station in Ogden on Friday. The time capsule was placed 100 years ago, on May 31, 1924, during the building of the station.
Tim Nimtz, right, uses tools to open up the time capsule at a reveal inside Union Station in Ogden on Friday. The time capsule was placed 100 years ago, on May 31, 1924, during the building of the station. (Photo: Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

The building, now owned by the city, “is a symbol of the hope and the opportunity that leaders in 1924 saw in the station and the hope and the opportunity that is still surrounding the station today,” Eggett said. The railroad station, formally dedicated on Nov. 22, 1924, though the cornerstone was laid on May 31, 1924, replaced the prior station, completed in 1889 but destroyed in a 1923 fire.

Though the station once served 51 to nearly 300 trains a day in its heyday as a key stopping point for trains traveling between Chicago and San Francisco, according to varied figures put forward by the speakers Friday, it now serves as home to railroad, gun and automobile museums. Nevertheless, it remains an Ogden landmark and city leaders are in the midst of crafting a plan — the focus of intense debate — to dramatically redevelop the facility and the grounds around it.

Once on a table on the stage of Browning Theater inside Union Station, coppersmith Tim Nimtz used a drill and snips to cut the time capsule open as perhaps 200 to 300 people looked on. Eggett and the others assisting her, Ogden Mayor Ben Nadolski, local historian Charlie Trentelman and Glen Cook, post grand master of masons in Utah, wore white gloves to protect the items as they handled them.

The items appeared to be in pristine shape and several train timetables from 1924 were among the first items pulled out. One of them included a blurb about places to visit in Ogden. “They said we should visit Lester Park, Liberty Park and Ogden Canyon,” Eggett said.

Charlie Trentelman, a local historian, and Hope Eggett, museum curator at Union Station, look at an artifact pulled out of a time capsule at a reveal ceremony at Union Station in Ogden on Friday. The time capsule was placed 100 years ago, on May 31, 1924, during the building of the station.
Charlie Trentelman, a local historian, and Hope Eggett, museum curator at Union Station, look at an artifact pulled out of a time capsule at a reveal ceremony at Union Station in Ogden on Friday. The time capsule was placed 100 years ago, on May 31, 1924, during the building of the station. (Photo: Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

The font size of much of the material in the timetables is small and Nadolski had a hard time reading it. “I wonder if 100 years ago people could see better,” he quipped.

The timetables, from a range of train companies, were packed with information about stops, arrivals and departures, prompting Trentelman to note the importance of train travel and train stations 100 years ago. Trains, he said, traveled “all the time. It’s like an airport now,” he said.

Next came several newspapers — two copies of the Ogden Standard-Examiner and individual copies of the Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake Telegram and Deseret News.

The bold, all caps frontpage headline of one of the Standard-Examiners declared: “Families wiped out by storm.” Further down the page, another headline read: “Supposed kidnaped girl merely avoiding school,” which drew laughs when Eggett read it.

Among the other items were a button reading, “You can’t get anywhere without coming to Ogden,” referencing the city’s status as a key stopping point on the San Francisco-Chicago train route, pictures of Ogden and a Monroe Doctrine centennial half dollar. The coin, minted in 1923, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine of 1823.

There were Ogden Chamber of Commerce documents, a flier listing the varied churches of Ogden and numerous documents from the Freemasons, the fraternal organization. There was a flier featuring the Hermitage Hotel, once located in the Ogden Canyon but now long gone, and an old photo of the Ogden Exchange Building, headquarters to the once-thriving stockyard operation in the city. “It was second to Chicago in livestock handling,” Trentelman said.

The Union Station museum staff will catalog everything pulled out of the time capsule on Friday and probably put some items on display, said Mike McBride, spokesman for the Nadolski administration. Then, he said, city officials will seek feedback on what should go into a new time capsule that will replace the old one.

Friday’s ceremony was the latest in a series of events marking the 100th anniversary this year of Union Station. Activities to mark that actual dedication of the building on Nov. 22, 1924, are set for Nov. 22 and 23 this year, when McBride said the new time capsule will be placed in the now-vacant cornerstone space.



Source link

RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments