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Cedar chest yields trove of century-old photos of Salt Lake

Cedar chest yields trove of century-old photos of Salt Lake

By Lynn Arave | Posted - Oct. 4, 2010 at 7:11 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY -- What's in your cedar chest?

Kelley Bollinger, who lives in Cottonwood Heights, found some historic photographs a century old that her late mother had in a cedar chest. They included pictures of the early years of Liberty Park, as well as the nearby original Salt Palace and bicycle racing track.

There were also pictures of Eagle Gate, the Gardo House on South Temple, the Garfield Smelter and Temple Square.

In all, there were 13 historic photos. Eight of them were framed.

"I had the photos around the house," Bollinger said, explaining they had even been on the walls of her home for a time. "I finally decided it was ridiculous that I was keeping them."

Bollinger is a direct descendant of the photographer, Samuel Alexander Horrocks, who is her great-grandfather. She isn't sure if he was a professional photographer, but he took some excellent turn-of-the-20th-century photos of Salt Lake landmarks.

"It may have been his hobby," she said.

Eventually Horrocks decided to go into farming and he ended up in Pocatello, where he died in 1927.

Her children didn't want the pictures, and all she wanted were some high-resolution copies of them, which her husband secured.

She believes her great-grandfather took all the pictures, though several have no photographer's name on them.

Bollinger later noticed some historic photographs that Ron Fox had published in the Deseret News a few months ago and decided to contact him about what to do with them.

Fox, a photo researcher, suggested she donate them to the LDS Church History Library. Though Fox they weren't old enough for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers' collection, Bollinger donated the photos to the Church on Sept. 30.

These donated photographs also show the early zoo in Liberty Park, complete with grazing deer. There's also a picture of the early pond in the park.

Bollinger's favorite is perhaps the one of Eagle Gate that clearly shows trolley tracks running underneath.

Bollinger encourages others to donate similar old photographs to the LDS Church, the Utah Historical Society, the DUP or one of Utah's universities for professional preservation.

Fox also wants to encourage the public to share or donate old photographs to the LDS Church, Utah State Historical Society, the DUP or one of the various universities across the state.

He stressed that photos of famous people visiting Utah and Salt Lake -- such as President Ulysses S. Grant or Arthur Conan Doyle -- are specifically sought since there are no known photos of their stay.

Also sought are pictures of parades, special events, church activities, building dedications, etc.

E-mail: lynn@desnews.com

Photos

Lynn Arave

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