05262017
7-Day Forecast | Currently in Provo

Utah Valley: In Focus

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Since the first photographic image was created in 1814, photographs have exposed us to ideas, faraway places and fascinating people. Pictures serve as memories of times past, creating a landmark for future comparisons. Here are 15 views that define our valley — then and now.

Building on Tradition

Before-Library

 

L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

 

circa 1897
Electricity was new at the time of this 1890s photo, but the building did have some electric lighting. According to faculty minutes from 1892, the cost of electricity was $5.80 for the month of February. The Provo City Library at Academy Square currently budgets $9,200 per month for electricity.

In the 115 years that have passed since the Brigham Young Academy building opened its doors, the structure has had a variety of names and countless functions.

“I started first grade there in the 1920s,” says Shirley Paxman of Provo. Shirley has 87 years of memories tied to the building — chemistry labs in the basement, parties with her college social units, classes to obtain a master’s degree in child development, and now, weekly visits to the Provo City Library.

In 1968, the building closed and remained vacant for three decades. When the building faced demolition, a group of passionate individuals formed the Brigham Young Academy Foundation to preserve the structure that still held great potential for the community.

A library bond passed in the 1997 elections, and Provo City officials gave the foundation a four-month deadline to raise $5.8 million to help with renovation costs.

A few days before the scheduled deadline, bulldozers were on site, preparing for the imminent demolition.

“We still had time to raise the money, so I questioned the crew,” Shirley says. “I said, ‘If you move those bulldozers one inch and touch those buildings, you’re going to have a lawsuit on your hands you’ll never get rid of.’”

The foundation met its goal at 3 p.m. the day of the deadline, and the Provo City Library at Academy Square began operations in September of 2001.

“They did a tremendous job restoring the building to its original beauty,” Shirley says. “It’s incredible and so original — every detail. It’s truly enchanting.”

After-Library

 

 

 

Football Foes

Football

 

L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

“Whenever we play Utah, no matter how good the teams are, there’s always great elation when victory happens,” says former BYU coach LaVell Edwards.

Although the dates of these two photos are 40 years apart, the emotions are nearly indistinguishable.

Prior to the 1965 game against Utah, the Cougars had yet to beat their northern rivals on BYU turf. Coach Tom Hudspeth’s team pulled it off in a 25-20 win, and he was carried off the field on his players’ shoulders. Applying the momentum from the first-ever win over Utah in Provo, Hudspeth and his Cougars went on to win the conference championship — another first in Cougar history.

LaVell was BYU’s defensive coordinator at the time. “We hadn’t had many victories against Utah over the years,” he says. “I remember the game. I remember everything — it was really an exciting thing for us.”

Fast-forward to 2006. This time four years had lapsed since a win against the Utes. With one play left and three seconds on the clock, BYU trailed Utah 31-27. In what many call the most memorable come-from-behind play in Cougar history, quarterback John Beck scrambled and found tight end Jonny Harline waiting alone in the end zone. The 11-yard pass ended with Harline on his knees, the football cradled in his arms.

HarlineTouchdown

“It was such an improbable victory, to come from behind like that,” LaVell says. “Winning is always great, but especially when it’s against a rival. The fact is, it’s Utah, and that’s what makes it great.”

 

Something in the water

Utah Valley’s water sources have sustained human life for centuries. While Utah Lake’s main function was once to provide fish to inhabitants of the area, the water is now used for recreation more than anything else. From water skiing on Utah Lake to fly fishing in the Provo River to ice climbing at Bridal Veil Falls, there is no shortage of water amusement in the valley.

Bridal-Veil-Falls

 

L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Bridal Veil Falls, circa 1885-1888, photography by C.R. Savage

W1

©Howie Garber/wanderlustimages.com
Provo River

W3

 

L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Outing at Utah Lake, circa 1912, photography by John C. Swensen

W2

 

 

©Howie Garber/wanderlustimages.com
Bridal Veil Falls

W4

 

Dan Ransom, danransom.com
Utah Lake, 2006

W5

Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, All rights reserved
Provo River, circa 1910

 

 

Views of the Valley

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Between historic downtown Provo, majestic mountains, the state’s largest freshwater lake and fertile south county farmland, Utah Valley’s landscape holds many similarities to the place settlers came to love in the 1800s. UV

KnightBlock

Dan Ransom, danransom.com
Knight Block in downtown Provo, 2007

Lehi-Sugar-Factory

Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, All rights reserved
Lehi Sugar Factory, 1905

Mt.-Timp

Dan Ransom, danransom.com
Mt. Timpanogos from Cascade Meadows, 2006

Y-mtn

L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
BYU President Dallin H. Oaks throws a bucket of whitewash on the “Y” during orientation week, 1974

train

Used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, All rights reserved
American Fork railroad depot, 1912

 

Like this story(0)

Leave a Reply

Submit Comment