25 February 2022

Belonging In Utah: Black History on KUTV

 Jamie, me, and Alice walking and talking on Franklin Ave, now Edison St, 2022.

Yesterday, KUTV aired Jamie McGriff's interview with Alice Burch and myself as part of her Belonging In Utah series. 

Click here for a direct link to the news clip and web extras.

We are part of the Sema Hadithi Foundation focused on telling the story of Black history in Utah. Alice is the Director of Special Events while I am a researcher for the Black Women's group.

P.S.: Sema Hadithi is active on Facebook. Check them out.

News clippings from the Salt Lake Herald Republican Sept 7 1906. Highlights are mine.
Link to the original news article.

News clippings from the Salt Lake Herald Republican Sept 7 1906. Highlights are mine.
Link to the original news article.

One of the few remaining buildings still standing from the Franklin Ave days, 235 S Edison St.
As pictured here it is the Salvation Army's Wokmen's Hotel but was originally built as the Franklin Ave Theater.

19 February 2022

Colonial Flower House Vintage Postcard

Colonial Flower House, Salt Lake's nicest flower shop, ca 1940s..
870 E 900 South Salt Lake City

Colonial Flower House was located at 870 E 900 South SLC. It was started about 1933 by Mort Jorgensen (1900-1975), a Danish Immigrant who came to Salt Lake City in 1920. Colonial Flower was in business at this location until 1973.

Mort, who also owned Dimple Dell Nursery, built and ran several greenhouses in the Salt Lake area.

Notably, he arranged the flowers for the funeral of LDS President Heber J Grant in 1945.

He also helped establish the Danish Garden at Salt Lake’s International Peace Gardens.

This building was originally a house built by James M. Michelson in 1907, similar to other buildings along this stretch of the 9th and 9th neighborhood, which have also been transformed from residential to commercial spaces.

The current inhabitants of the building are 9th and 9th Jewelers, 9th and 9th Book and Music, and Summit Sotheby's Realty. 

Advertizement for Colonial Flower from Deseret News Mar 21 1940

The Colonial Flower building as it is today, 2022

The Colonial Flower building as it is today, 2022

The surrounding buildings in this section of 9th and 9th (southeast quadrant), 2022. 

10 February 2022

Franklin Avenue

Franklin Avenue will be the subject of my next series of posts.
Currently, the mid-block alley is known as Edison Street but before 1906 it was Franklin Ave and it was the area that housed most Black people in SLC.

Specifically the northern extent between 200 South and 300 South and between State St and 200 East (Block 56).

07 February 2022

The Original "W" from the Walker Sign is now at West High School

The "W" from the original Walker Sign is now at West High School

The neon "W" from the original Walker Sign is now part of West High's history. It is mounted on the roof adjacent to the football field! It is best viewed from the bleachers during a football game. 🏈

The football field and bleachers on the west side of West High School, 2022

In 2008, the original sign letters from the Walker Building's weather tower in downtown Salt Lake City were removed and replaced. Only the "W" from the 24 letters survived and was placed in the backlot of Rainbow Neon Signs, who then volunteered to put the letter on top of West High.

Source: Fox13Now 2014/08/20

02 February 2022

The Chinese Dragon That Toured the Intermountain West

A teaser for my next post…

Illustration of a Chinese dragon, from the Frank A Beckwith collection

Photo of a Chinese Dragon used during a celebration in Rock Springs WY, 1899

This Chinese Dragon was a big part of celebrations in the Intermountain West in the 1890s (including Salt Lake City) through what time period I’m not sure yet.

This illustration by Frank A. Beckwith (1876-1951) is based on an 1899 photograph taken during a celebration in Rock Springs Wyoming. The illustration and the photo are in two different archives (Utah and Wyoming).

Frank Asahel Beckwith has been dubbed “the Renaissance Man of Delta” as he was a well-known man in the deserts of Utah and his home being Delta in Millard County, Utah. He was editor and publisher of the Millard County Chronicle from 1919-1951. And he was an amateur geologist and anthropologist who collected many items.

These two images probably will not make the cut for my upcoming Chinese New Year post so I thought I would share them now.

1) Drawing: Chinese dragon, from the Frank A Beckwith collection of Delta City library, digital image housed at Marriott Library, University of Utah.
2) Photo: Chinese Dragon used during a celebration in Rock Springs WY, 1899. From Wyoming State Archives

01 February 2022

Weechquootee Place

Weechquootee Place is a short mid-block alley located at 15 E 300 South in Salt Lake City.

Weechquootee Place in Feb 2022

The alley was named in June 1998 in conjunction with the opening of the 25-story American Stores Tower, now known as the Wells Fargo Center (299 S Main).

A contest was held among the children of the Ute Indian Tribe. Tamar Serawop, at the time a 5th grader at Todd Elementary School in Ft. Duchesne, submitted the winning entry. 

Weechquootee, pronounced WEECH-kwoo-tee, means “tomorrow” in Ute, so the name of the street means “Tomorrow’s Place.”

Just 6 weeks later, Albertsons announced it would acquire American Stores. An FTC condition of the aquation required Albertsons and American Stores to sell 144 of their supermarket stores. This was when the Utah Albertsons stores were purchased by Fresh Market.

By June 1999, American Stores was defunct.

Weechquootee Place in Feb 2022

Weechquootee Place in Feb 2022

Image from Salt Lake Tribune June 17 1998

Sources: Deseret News 1998-06-17; American Stores Wikipedia article