NewsWhat's in the Basement?


What's in the Basement? River runner messages

Posted at 2:37 PM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 16:37:49-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Pieces of Utah's past are stored in the basement of the Rio Grande Train Station in Salt Lake City.

The Utah Divisions of History and Art have amassed a combined total of 1.8 million items of cultural and historical significance. The carefully curated collection fills the basement of the old station where the Utah State Historical Society has a research center on the main floor.

The public has never had access to the basement, and following the earthquake which struck Salt Lake City in March, the entire building is now closed for repairs.

In an effort to share a bit of Utah history, FOX 13 teamed up with the Utah Divisions of History and Art. Experts with those organizations will be showing us some of their favorite pieces from the permanent collection. We’ll be showing one each day from the 4th of July through the 24th of July.

The piece featured in this story dates from the 1940s when Utah’s whitewater options were still being explored. The “Field note” written on a wooden box lid once advised other would-be rafters on Utah’s Escalante River. Imagine the thrill, and fright, of being among the first to descend a river in rural Utah!

Watch FOX 13’s Good Day Utah in the 8 a.m. hour each day for the next item or visit as new installments will be posted each day until July 24th.