top of page
< Back

Richard Sommers

Interviewed by: Adam Christensen

00:00 / 54:42



July 6, 2010

Interviewee: Richard (Dick) Sommers

Interviewer: Adam Christensen, Weber State College Student

Subject: Como Springs Resort Experiences

Transcriber: Cissy Toone

Edited by: Cheri K. Jensen

Adam Christensen: My name is Adam Christensen. I’m going to interview Mr. (Richard) Dick Sommers at his home in Morgan on the Como Springs Resort. Today’s date is Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

Adam Christensen: The first question I have is how were you connected to Como, what took you there?

Dick Sommers: What took me there? My grandparents owned Como.

AC: Okay.

DS: We lived in Salt Lake, as a family before we’d come up and spend all our time in the summer time and everything else there at Como. My Grandpa Heiner and Grandma (that’s a small picture there of them)

AC: Okay.

DS: That’s when grandpa purchased it with his family.

AC: Okay. Did you have jobs there, did you work there?

DS: Oh yes, when I was opening lockers for swimmers and putting on roller skates.

AC: A key boy over there?

DS: A key boy yes, a skate boy, in fact I brought a pair of skates in to show you what they used to clamp on their feet and that.

AC: Oh!

AC: Oh that’s cool; I will look at those when we are done.

DS: Sure.

AC: That’s pretty neat. Can you tell me about some of the maybe memories you had with some of those jobs? What did you do for your job?

DS: Well basically that was it, just opening lockers for swimmers to change there, in fact I did some life guarding and that too.

AC: Did you?

DS: Yes, and gave swimming lessons in the summer. I was only fifteen or sixteen years old then. Taught swimming classes and then I lived in the roller skating rink.

AC: Yeah.

DS: Yeah, it was my passion.

AC: Why?

DS: I just loved to skate. I got so I was pretty good.

AC: Yeah.

DS: I still got my skates in that box right there that are over fifty-five years old.

AC: Oh my goodness!

AC: .I’m going to have to - I didn’t bring my digital camera with me but maybe I’ll have to come take a picture because that’s pretty neat.

DS: You are more than welcome to.

AC: What did you like about skating?

DS: I don’t know, I just loved the - well there was a lot of speed and I learned to do jumps, turns and different things, and skated with partners. I skated with older ladies, with Joan Mortenson’s mother.

AC: Oh yeah.

DS: When I was a little kid in couples - would skate and turn and skate backwards and do everything and that, yeah.

AC: Wow!

DS: Yeah, I skated a lot with Joan’s mother, she wasn’t much bigger than me because she wasn’t big but she was older but it didn’t bother her, we had a great time doing it.

AC: Oh, that’s funny! Tell me about some of the day to day events at Como, like if I just went there on a Saturday what would I see?

DS: Well, when it was in full go and that on a Saturday they’d have the bowling alley going, which was only four lanes, some pool tables, you’d have of course the swimming pool was the main attraction.

AC: That was the main thing huh?

DS: Yes, then they had the roller skating rink and they had a merry-go-round at one time. That merry-go-round ended up down to the park by the rodeo grounds in Ogden. That Lorrin Farr Park is it, or something?

AC: Oh really?

DS: Yes, that ended up there. I don’t know - I was so little that I can’t remember why they sold it and got rid of it and that because it was a big attraction. Of course and then they had some boats out there they could take people for boat rides; it wasn’t very fast or anything like that, just something different. It was people’s vacation during the war.

AC: Yeah.

DS: Of course they had the cabins; there were a lot of cabins in there that sat where the motel sits now, back in there. They were full every weekend.

AC: Really?

DS: Yeah, every weekend that was just people’s vacations.

AC: I had heard from a different interview that the merry-go-round ended up at Lagoon.

DS: I don’t think so.

AC: It just went down to that Lorrin Farr Park?

DS: Yeah.

AC: Okay, I’m going to have to change that.

DS: Yeah, I don’t think it ever went to Lagoon. Theyhad something in there but I can’t recall it. I know it was at Lorrin Farr Park for a long time. I even went down and took the kids on it even before. I don’t know if it’s even there now because I haven’t been to that.

AC: Now where’s that park at?

DS: Well, do you know where the old rodeo grounds are in Ogden? You go in on Washington, no not Washington, Harrison, then you drop down a couple blocks and then drop down off the mountain, and it sets right in there up from - oh you'd come down into where the Prairie Schooner café is and that, it set up east of that.

AC: Okay.

DS: Up towards the mountains a little bit.

AC: Okay.

DS: But they had a swimming pool and everything and the merry-go-round and that. If it ended up in Lagoon it’s a surprise to me because it was getting in pretty tough shape.

AC: Really?

DS: It was at the Lorrin Farr Park for sure, I know that.

AC: Okay, and that’s where it went right after Como?

DS: Yes, after it left Como.

AC: Okay.

DS: Then they built some kind of - they got a bunch of military gas tanks, it looked like off planes and built some planes that went around in a circle that had seats in them and everything. The smaller kids could ride in and stuff like that in there. Then of course they had at one time the steam engine, the miniature train. It’s my understanding. The reason they done away with it was because it had to have engineer’s license to run that thing.

AC: Oh really?

DS: Yeah.

AC: I haven’t heard that.

DS: So they took and quit doing it with the steam. It was just like a steamer going up and down the tracks, and they put a gas engine on it.

AC: You didn’t need an engineer’s license for that?

DS: No, and then they run it - in fact I run it a little bit – I run it a lot,and then the tracks got in pretty rough shape. Youcouldn’t buy new tracks to fix and we was having derails all the time.

DS: Luckily no one was ever hurt; I don’t think we ever tipped a car over or anything.

Then they done away with it so we tore all the tracks out and put black top around the lake, it went around that lake that was there. We got like a passenger train type thing, modern and on wheels and that and used it there for several years.

AC: Okay. Wow, that’s new stuff. I hadn’t heard about that.

DS: I don’t know where the train ended up but it’s been oh, I would say six or eight years ago or maybe longer than that they brought a train up to the fair.

AC: Yeah, I’ve heard about that.

DS: They only run it back and forth on a straight little track; that was the old original steam engine that they refurbished and took the gas engine off and went back to a steam engine. It would be my dad’s uncle but I call him uncle to us, Uncle Tom Mitchell; he lived over in Durango Colorado and he was old steam engineer. They come in here to visit family every summer, and he’d run that thing all the time he was here. He loved it, and he was a big man.

AC:  That’s neat. Was it pretty busy, the resort?

DS: Oh yeah, in the summer time especially in the early years, and on weekends - well all day but especially on weekends, it was just packed.

AC: Why do you think - why was it so popular?

DS: Well, like I say a lot of it was during the war and stuff like that, and people didn’t have any - you know, I can’t recall originally when it was built, and everything and that. I don’t know whether the depression had anything to do with it or not.

AC: I know it was originally opened from the Heiner family in 1921.

DS: Well see that would come in to part of the depression years.

AC: Come close.

DS: Yeah. See I can go back to about 1940-42.

AC: During the war?

DS: Yeah, 1942 is when they built the bowling alley. I know there was one paper that came out here, oh it’s been this spring an article in the Morgan County News about Como and they had a couple of dates wrong and I think it was a typographical error. They had the bowling alley being built in 1952.

AC: I will have to check that because I’ve got - in fact let me look right here because I've got a list I got from the library. You can maybe help see if I’ve got these right. Let’s see, the bowling alley according to this thing from the Historical Society says it was built in 1939.

DS: Well it could have been completed in '41-'42.

AC: Okay.

DS: Yeah, because I just took it from what that year was in the paper and I thought they just had a 5 there instead of a 4.

AC: Because this says that the café was added to the bowling alley in '53 so that’s probably where they got it mixed up.

DS:  Yeah, because I worked there, I run the fountain making malts and sundaes.

AC: Did you?

DS: Uh huh, when I was a junior in high school. I can remember when them footings were there for that bowling alley. In '39 I’d only be four years old.

AC: Yeah.

DS: I don’t know as if I could remember that or not, but I can remember it just barely because I had an uncle - we had some pictures of him, and it was my mothers brother, Leo. (Leo Heiner?) He died as a young man, and he’s standing there by the footings andfoundation.

AC: For the bowling alley?

DS: For the bowling alley - we were living in Salt Lake so I wasn’t up here a lot to see it every day or anything like that but I can remember when they -

AC: I will have to check.

DS: It could be, I don’t know.

AC: Somewhere around there.

DS: It was right in that era sometime.

AC: Tell me about some of the events and activities you remember there because I know they had - I know the fourth of July was big.

DS: The fourth of July was big. Sunday’s they brought the high School band. There was an old band stand set over in the one corner by the swimming pool, and they would march in there in uniform and everything. They would have an hour or an hour and one-half concert every Sunday afternoon - and that high schoolthere. The National Red Cross came in there and gave swimming lessons, or not so much swimming lessons, life guard lessons and everything and that.

AC: Okay.

DS: Family reunions were a big thing.

AC: Yeah.

DS: Family reunions were very big. We had three bowery’s, eating places and had a cooking place in the end of each one of them where they could cook if they wantedto, and tables. They could prepare everything they wanted to right there. Most of them brought it [food] with them but...

AC: Yeah.

DS: know it was easier than to try to set up and cook and that, and then a lot of outside tables. On the Fourth of July or the Twenty-Fourth of July there was always...

AC: Big crowds.

DS: ...big crowds, and on holidays and stuff, yeah.

AC: Do you remember much of the fireworks?

DS: Yeah, I was involved in that a lot.

AC: Yeah?

DS: Yeah. We got up there one night - we used to send them off right above the pool where that big rock that comes out to the road.

AC: Okay.

DS: We would set those off right there.

AC: So it would be like from the Round Valley Road?

DS: Yeah, above the road on the hill higher.

AC: Okay.

DS: We got up there one night in a rain storm, it’s a wonder we didn’t get blew up.  I mean we had - them rockets and different things would go off and they were wet, and we had them going from one box to another. This sounds ridiculous but it’s the truth.

DS: Them things blowing up on top of us - we even had - the roman candles would take off. I can remember them things taking off and landing in the swimming pool with people in the swimming pool and still firing.  Oh, there were two or three times that it’s a wonder somebody didn't get - in the in the group that was doing it wasn’t hurt...

AC: Wow!

DS: ...burnt up or that. Oh yeah, always big fireworks. Well Como would buy some- Grandpa and them, the resort and then the city and the county would put so much money into them and that too. It was exciting!

AC: It sounds like it.

DS: Yeah.

AC: Did those events - well, maybe just in general did it attract a lot of people from outside of the county?

DS: Oh yeah, that was the big thing, the attraction from outside. I mean wehad locals but the money makers were when the outside people came in.

AC: Really?

DS: Like I said, a lot of them they’d come up and go into them cabins and spend three or four days and that was their vacation.

AC: Uh huh.

DC: That was theiroutlet for vacation because they didn’t have anywhere else to go. They didn’t have motor homes and house trailers, hardly even had tents and stuff like that.

AC: Yeah, you'd just come stay in the cabins.

DS: Come and stay in the cabins, they could go up to the - well the lower one and the upper one, and put up tents if they wanted to, you know...

AC: Uh huh.

DS: ...and stay there, whatever they wanted to do. They were charged for the cabin but as far as the space for tents and that they never charged. They got their money when they came swimming, bowling, and skating.

AC: Wow, do you recall maybe the furthest someone traveled to come up to visit Como? Do you remember people from out of state?

DS: Well, I’m sure there was but I was probably young enough that I never paid that much attention to them and what there was that would come, but I’m sure there was because it was…

AC: It was pretty busy.

DS: Yeah,it was busy and people heard about it. [Como]

AC: How do you think people heard about it? [Como] Did they do a lot of advertising?

DS: Not a lot of advertising, just word of mouth more than anything.

AC: Okay, I kind of asked this earlier but why do you think it was such a popular resort or why was it so successful?

DS: Well the family tried to treat people right and have a place for them to have a good time. There just wasn’t that much to do then - where they could go swimming. Those people would go in that pool all day long, they. They just wasn’t there for an hour or two and leave. They’d stay all day long. Before they really remodeled it was nothing but sand and they’d [the people] lay out in that sand, it would take two days to shovel the sand out of the swimming pool back onto the deck when we’d try to clean it.

AC:  Yeah.

DS: It was a chore.

AC: So did you help them clean it too?

DS: I was pretty small at that time when the sand was there so I could fill buckets and stuff like that but I couldn't hardly lift a five gallon bucket up the height of the pool, you know and that.

AC: Yeah, hmm.

DS: But I spent a lot of time in the pool and that when that sand was there. I can remember there were five or six of us in the family and the other kids that lived around was in the pool all the time. We’d get up on top that big grand stand and then Grandpa would come after us. We’d wait until everybody got up on the back because it had a sloping roof and we'd wait until everybody got up there on it before he’d come out where he could see us. I wasn’t a diver but my brother and all the rest of them were. They’d go out there and dive and everything. I’d just run out there and jump real quick.I looked like a chicken someone had shot a wing off of. Oh, he’d get after us for that, and then he’d go back in the back corner and laugh but he didn’t want other people doing it you know?

AC: Yeah.

DS: We were all pretty much family but we - no swimming on weekends.

AC: That’s what I’ve heard because it was too busy.

DS: We could swim as a family any day of the week but weekends, but we could roller skate. I was over in there putting on skates and roller skating and everything else but if I went over to skate I was helping too. I wasn't just - in the roller skating rink that’s where I spend a lot of my time as a youth. We came up from Salt Lake to do these things. We had more friends up here than we did in Salt Lake.

AC: From all the time you…

DS: Uh huh from all the time here. We lived right up by the zoo there in Salt Lake and nobody else were in, what seemed like miles from us and that but it wasn’t that far but we would come up here and stay in - There was a little house that set by the entrance to the swimming pool, and if it was late at night when they was through if all they only had to come to town they'd just go in there and stay. They was kept up very nice and would be ready to go the next morning.

AC: Yeah.

DS: We’d get there at the crack of dawn and go through the picnic areas and gather any garbage and haul it out so it was cleaned up to start the day.

AC: Hmm. Speaking of cleaning up, I’ve hear there were two men there that they had to help clean up the resort a lot and they were maybe a little bit slower.

DS: Oh.

AC: Do you know who they were?

DS: Oh yes.

AC: What were their names?

DS: They were the Grover boys. Do you know - what’s her name that lives up on the hill across the street from Sue Boyce? Oh, Vivian Grover?

AC: Okay, I’ve heard the name, yeah.

DS: Okay, she was a sister to them and one of them was Clifford, he was the oldest one, and D.A. Daniel Alexander, they told us all the time what his name was...

AC: Yeah.

DS: ...whether it was, I don’t know. All us kids ever knew him by was D.A. They gathered bottles - they [Como] sold pop over the counter and they were all in glass bottles so people would just go out through the park area when they emptied it they just dropped it on the ground somewhere. These guys [Grover boys] would go out and gather all them up, they’d help gather garbage. Nobody hauled them around or nothing to speak of. They walked from their home up there on the hill to Como every day and they'd stay there all day long.

AC: I heard they were pretty good workers.

DS: Oh, slow but you know but they just never quit, they just kept going.

AC: Hmm.

DS: Yeah, they just kept going.

AC: That’s neat!

DS: They would set pins when they had to because the pin setters weren't automatic, they were manual.

AC: Yeah, did you ever do that?

DS: You bet I did.

AC: How did you figure out where you’d be working for the day? Would you just show up that morning and they would say, "You’re going to go to the skating rink?

DS: Just go - yeah, Grandpa would say, “Okay, I need some Key Boys or something for the day.” So that's fine and then we’d have a break and change then somebody would - and I’d go over or whatever and put skates on and whatever.

AC: Just a kind of day to day thing?

DS: Uh huh. I didn’t set a lot of pins during the day; it was in the evenings and that a little bit. In fact I never really set a lot at all but I did do it. Between the swimming pool and the skating rink is when I spent…

AC: Most of your time.

DS: When they could catch me.

AC: Yeah, you wanted to play huh?

DS: I was at that age you know and then I worked - after I got older and out of high school and that I worked in what we called the suit stand; the main area with my Grandpa for several years. I worked in there with him and that and then if we got really busy or something and that I’d run in to what used to be our old little suit stand and cashiers booth and that. We had kind of a first aid room there in case you know, we had a problem and I’d jump in my swimming suit and go out and life guard and stuff. They'd have two or three of us out there watching and that and so.

AC: Did you ever have to help anybody?

DS: Yeah, not very many but I had one or two - three or four probably.

AC: Really?

DS: Yeah.

AC: From what?

DS: Just kind of swallowed too much water or that.

AC: Yeah.

DS: Nothing really serious that we had to work on much just get them out of there so they could get their self a - mostly smaller children.

AC: Yeah, just swallowed a little too much.

DS: Yeah, got in a little deep end of the water where they shouldn’t have been or something like that and you didn’t see them in time till they got down in there and found out they wasn’t touching the bottom.

AC:  Let's see, what do you think are some of the reasons that Como is not here anymore?

DS: Well, The biggest reason was insurance. Between insurance and other things that people started doing. By the time you figure, we didn’t open up until Memorial weekend and close on Labor Day weekend, that’s a pretty short season.

AC: Yeah.

DS: Insurance was just outrageous.

AC: It was too much.

DS: Just they couldn’t make enough money in that length of time to cover what they wanted for liability insurance. They just said, “Hey, we got to - that was the main reason plus like I say, everyone changing trailers, tents, people went a little further. The war was over. They was making a little bit more money so they could go a little further and do a few more things and stuff like that so that was the main reasons right there.

AC: Yeah.  Those are the main things that I’ve heard is just that insurance cost too much.

DS: It was a killer.

AC: And then is that maybe the money are some of the reasons - some people have mentioned that it wasn’t renovated as much as maybe it needed - like wasn’t kept up.

DS: Well, that had something to do with it to, yeah. There was something in there to that effect that they needed to spend some money to do some different things. It just really wasn’t feasible at the time.

AC: Yeah. What with people starting to do other things?

DS: Yeah, some weekends weren’t any different than a week day.

AC: Really?

DS: Yeah.

AC: It just slowed down that much huh?

DS: Uh huh.

AC: Okay. Do you have any other memories, maybe special things or funny things?

DS: Oh special things not so much funny; my Grandmother and Grand- well, my Grandmother mostly -Sommers would come down in the summer time and bring two of my Dad’s sisters or they’d take turns and there was a little old one bedroom or two bedroom cabin that sat back out by that pond behind the skating rink. They ran the hotdog and hamburger stand during the summer. You could buy a hotdog for a nickel, and a hamburger for fifteen-cents. Then it kind of closed up a little bit that did when they quit running it and my mother’s brother's wife, it would be - I don't know - you know RaeDell Giles?

AC: Uh huh.

DS: RaeDell's mother opened the hamburger stand.

AC: What was her name?

DS: Floriene (Butters) Heiner, she ran the hamburger stand for several years...

AC: And Nola, who was Nola?

DS: ...then she got rid - decided she'd had enough and that’s when my Mother and Dad took it over.

AC: Who was your mother?

DS: Nola. [Heiner Sommers]

AC: Okay.

DS: These two bigger pictures right there are them when they were young. They took it over and ran it, and I cooked a lot of hamburgers there too.

AC: Did you?

DS: You bet, that's after I was out of school...

AC: Out of high school?

DS: Yeah, in the summer time and stuff. If they had something to do I'd go to work, go up and cook hamburgers and stuff. When they opened the café - built the café why Rex, (Heiner) that was my Mother’s younger brother; he didn’t fix sandwiches and that in the café because he didn’t want to take business away from her.

AC: From the little stand huh.

DS: If they only wanted a hamburger, or a hotdog, or special things why he didn’t fix them in there, he’d say, “You'll have go over to the other stand and get that and that”

AC: That’s interesting.

DS: And what they made was theirs, what they made in the café they would kind of - well they would put everything together for the swimming...

(End of side A)

(Side B)

DS: I’m kind of back tracking some too - when I was real small and we still lived in Salt Lake they had a baseball throwing thing and that had an image of a cats head and that set about where the hamburger stand ended up when Mom and them run it. A couple of Vaughn Smith’s -  they’d be uncles of his, quite a bit older than his father, they would run that thing in the summer time and they’d throw baseballs at them old cats.

AC: That’s what - I talked to Dean Rock and that’s what he said, he remembered throwing balls at the cats.

DS: Yeah, I wasn’t very big but I can remember them - I’d try to throw it but - and them guys usually let us throw it, us kids and that.

AC: Yeah.

DS: They kind of ran that old cat thing and whatever and that.

AC: Lyle and Kimlyn Porter told me that there was - they had some mini golf there at one time.

DS: Yeah, they had a little mini golf course that set out between the bowling alley and skating rink, and out in front of where this hamburger stand set. This hamburger stand kind of  set in the center of all the swimming pools, the skating rink, and the bowling alley and stuff like that.

AC: Right in the middle.

DS: We tried several different things. We had that miniature golf course. My dad and them after we - well it could have been started before we moved up there, got in one corner behind where that house was and set up a little clay pigeon thing.

AC: Oh really.

DS: We shot them with - they have what they call a bird shot 22 shell; I don’t know if you’ve ever seen them or not but I'll show you. The pigeons were only about yea big around and trying to it that with a little .22 shell. You had special guns because it just wasn’t a regular - in fact I’ve got one of the guns still here.

AC: Really.

DS: It’s just a single shot; yes, I’ve kept that thing.

AC: It was just like a .22?

DS: Uh huh, it looks just like a .22 and then you can still buy shells for the darn things and they are expensive.

AC: Really?

DS: Yeah, and they had - my Dad set that up. You know, just different things to try to entice and keep people coming.

AC: So I’m curious with that, is a bird shot a .22 shell?

DS: Uh huh.

AC: Was it like a - how?

DS: I’ll go get them, they're just setting right here.

AC: Okay. So where did they set up this little clay pigeon?

DS: Kind of behind that house that sat over behind - so it was in against the mountain and nobody could you know, come in from somewhere that you didn’t see them.

AC: Okay, and how long did that -

DS:  Oh it wasn’t there very long, three or four years is all, if that much. My dad was always tinkering with something.

AC: Trying to find something new.

DS: Something new to try.

AC: Tell me your dad’s name again.

DS: Ken. (Sommers)

AC: Ken, okay.  How big was the mini golf course, was it just of couple holes?

DS: Oh no, it had nine holes on it.

AC: Was it?

DS: Yeah, but it didn’t really cover a lot of - if I remember it had nine holes on it and that. It was such a pain to try to keep it clean and that though because of all those cottonwood trees.

AC: Oh.

DS: All that stuff was - I mean you had to clean it three and four times a day to get all that junk off it to keep it operating you know. I don’t recall what they ever did with it and that was well after we’d moved back up here.

AC: Really?

DS: Yeah.

AC: So your dad’s name was Ken Sommers?

DS: Uh huh.

AC: Okay, I’m making sure of that so I get that right on my paper here.

DS: Yeah, that would be Ken and Nola. (Sommers)

AC: Okay. Any other memories of Como you can think of off the top of your head?

DS: Just good memories.

AC: It was a good time huh?

DS: Yeah it was, it really was.

AC: Do you think a place like that would be popular today in Morgan?

DS: I don’t know whether they could survive with everything else that’s going on. It’s too bad we couldn’t have done something through the school districts, and through the city and county and stuff, and got that place for a - they was offered it.

AC: Yeah.

DS: To get that place for the county and that because the waters there and comes out of that mountain at eighty-two degrees.

AC: Yeah.

DS: Yeah, it’s just really too bad.

AC: I know when - I mean when I was in school seven - eight years ago it would have been nice to have something here in town to do but...

DS: Oh yeah.

AC: ...we always had to go down below.

DS: Down below - oh that’s the way my grandkids are and I told them when the sun went behind the mountain, “Get yourself home”.

AC: Yeah. Okay, I said I was going to ask you about - we talked about it a little bit before I started the recording - we talked about anyone that had drowned up there.

DS: I don’t know how to really -  I think there was a couple but I don't have any - it was long before I was around, other than that one, you know that was a…

AC: Somebody snuck over the fence.

DS: Somebody snuck over the fence and they were drunk. I don't know whether you want to put that in there or whatever and they didn’t find him until the next day when they went over to open up the swimming pool.

AC: Really?

DS: Uh uh, nobody knew where he was.

AC: So this was when it was still open, when it was still going?

DS: Yeah, oh yeah.

AC: That’s too bad. Anything else you can think of?

DS: Oh well there probably would be when I thought some more but I’ve tried to think of a few things, you know, for you and that to try to - I’m sure most of it was repetitious but -

AC: Actually I didn’t know about a couple of the things you mentioned; the clay pigeon shoot, I didn’t know anything about that.

DS: Well and there wasn’t much to that - nobody would have known anything about that Dan should have but it wasn’t really a big deal, it was like I say, one of those little gimmicks that my Dad tried for a little bit.

AC: Just wanted to try for a little bit.

DS: A little bit to see -

AC: And the merry-go-round, I heard it went to Lagoon but…

DS: That thing went to Lorrin Farr Park.

AC: Okay. Sounds good.

DS: Like I say, when the train went I don’t know where it went to; the old steam engine train until it showed up here at the fair a few years ago.

AC: Yeah. And then I didn’t know that they had paved around -

DS: Yeah, we oiled that around that lake and around the stream liner, we called it, on wheels around it for several years.

AC: Yeah. Maybe one thing; I don’t know if you can answer - if you could help me with this…

DS: Oh I’ll tell you something that maybe we haven’t enlightened on that was very popular at the time and I don’t know whether anyone else has - every Saturday night they had a dance.

AC: Yeah, I’ve heard some about those.

DS: They took the pipes down and chains down in the skating rink and had a dance. They’d close the skating rink down at about oh, 4:30-5:00 and get the pipes all out of the floor and drag them around in behind the band stand, and then have their dance. Have a live orchestra and everything and dance. It was very popular. It was crowded all the time - now I can remember.

AC: The dances?

DS: Yeah, then be there the next morning to sweep and that and get the stuff off the floor so you didn’t kill yourself trying to skate, and put the pipes and the chains back. We had all the pipes numbered so we knew which hole they had to go in.

AC: Oh really.

DS: We had a little plug that went in the hole after we pulled the pipe out so somebody didn’t get...

AC: Their shoe stuck.

DS: ...stuck in there. The reason for the pipes and chains, you couldn’t go in the center there to skate. You had to skate all the way around the outside and that so they kept you out of the - Oh every once in a while somebody would jump through there showing off then I’d chase them for a while. You know, I don’t know if they've talked about where the water comes from and everything and that.

AC: I just know the springs, weren’t they there close to the pool or up towards the hill?

DS: Yeah, some of them were right out back where the swimming pool was, in the hill, and  then up here where Granite (Construction) has had the crusher and all that this summer.

AC: I’m not sure.

DS: Up right past the Hitching Post where they’ve been crushing.

AC: Oh, okay.

DS: Water comes out of there and comes down underneath the rail road tracks, then all the way up and there's an exposed pipe built on that bridge and water comes from there too.

AC : Okay. So it came from two places?

DS: Yeah.

AC: That's neat.

DS: Yeah, that was a pipe that big around. I remember the old wooden pipe that went across the bridge exposed, it was big, pretty good sized pipe right full. In fact when they went up there and put this new road in up through there to go to Round Valley, why these guys - It was Wardell’s that was doing it, they didn’t know that thing was even there, they couldn’t figure out what they did. I told them in a hurry what they had done.

AC: Wow! I think that’s about it unless there is anything else you can think of.

DS: I’m trying to think who was involved in it. Part of them was running the skating rink, part was running the bowling alley, and then Sharon's (Heiner's) dad (Dad's name ?) run what we called the beer stand, of course that was pop and beer. That was built on the front of the bowling alley. In the back end of this skating rink there was an ice cream stand. It was strictly different typed of ice cream, and sundaes, banana splits, ice cream bars, and cones.

AC: Where was that?

DS: It was built right in the end of the skating rink in the little corner. My mother’s sister and her husband run that besides he was the manager of Del Monte. They lived in the house - they built the house where Lyle (Porter) lives.

AC: Oh, I didn’t know there was a little ice cream stand inside the skating rink.

DS: Well there was two or three other things. There was a cafe before they built the café on to the bowling alley that set out over the lake.

AC: Yeah, I’ve heard of that.

DS: Yeah, and that was a cousin of Grandpa’s that a - or a niece of Grandpa’s - no, it wouldn’t of been a niece, she would have been - her husband would have been a nephew to Grandpa and I don’t recall her husband. He died long before I ever - but she ran that café, homemade pie, I can remember that.

AC: The homemade pie?

DS: Yeah.

AC: That was good huh?

DS: Yes it was and she had a good business in fact, it closed down for a long time and then I can’t remember who the people were that came in and kind of started up again a little tiny

AC: So did the café on the lake close before the one built on to the bowling alley?

DS: Oh yes, years and years that thing [the café] set there.

AC: So they [the café’s] were never both going at the same time, I wondered about that?

DS: No they were not going at the same time at all. It was very popular at the time.

AC: It sounds like it.

DS: Like I said before, for the people it was their vacation during the war and depression, when they could get there.

AC: Do you know who own the ground now?

DS: I don’t - I couldn’t tell ya.

AC: I will have to ask, I’m going to talk with Hal Heiner, I’m going to visit with him next week.

DS: Hal probably knows because he a ….but ya I don’t know who owns it. Rex (Heiner) was the youngest brother of my mother’s and his boys kind of took it all over. He had some ground over on the flat where Lyle (Porter) and they were. They had their mink farm and he traded some of his ground for their stock in Como and shares, some of them had a little bank stock and he had some bank stock and he traded that for shares for Como. He and his boys ended up with all of it. The only thing that had any value on it was the water but I don’t know how you put a price tag on water.

AC: Yeah, I don’t know. I will have to find out who owns that now, or maybe who it was they at least sold to.

DS: Well you could go right there to the courthouse at the recorder’s office, it’s all public records.

AC: Okay, I will have to do that.

DS: They can’t deny you the right.

AC: Anything else you can think of at the moment?

DS: No, like I say there will probably be some things that will pop up. When the Red Cross would come in here on there - the last days they were here, they’d get out in that old boat pond; and I mean the mud's got to be black greasy mud, five feet deep in the bottom of that thing. They would take them canoes - and they’d leave the canoes here. We would store them in the skating rink, above this little ice cream stand.  We had a ceiling built in it. That whole building was an arch so they built a ceiling in there. They would leave those canoes here, four or five of them, and they’d set there all winter up in there. When they come back to do life guard training they’d get out there and have water fights. Oh you couldn’t believe how them guys would look, and girls too, coming up out of that lake in about three feet of water, more mud on them than water. Then they’d hike up that peak and raise a flag. I’ve never been on that peak in my life.

AC: That’s pretty high, that's pretty steep.

DS: Well it’s pretty steep. There’s a lot of them rattle bugs up there and I hate snakes.

AC: Me too.

DS: If I can see one right out there I still hate it.

AC: Yeah.

DS: But yeah, they’d put on…oh people would just crowd around. It would be a hoot to watch them up there fighting and pushing each other. They’d swamp them canoes, have to dig the mud out of them and everything and get them back up on floating but they would have a blast. They came for several years; they came in there for several years.

AC: Huh, that’s neat.

DS: And Rex - Uncle Rex, he could do anything. He could build anything.  He built the café he built the motel, laid all the brick and did all the work. That motel was heated with the water from the swimming pool, pipes running side by side down through the floor.

AC: Oh really? Wow, I didn’t know that.

DS: That’s how he heated that café.

AC: The café or the motel?

DS: I’m sorry the motel. Rex could do anything, Uncle Rex could.

AC: I didn’t know that.

DS: My Grandpa - see I’m just kind of rambling on and on now.

AC: That's fine.

DS: My grandpa used to walk down the back end of the indoor swimming pool where the water came out of the mountain into a cement vat with a glass, and drink a glass of that water every morning.

AC: Oh really?

DS: That mineral water.

AC: Who was your grandpa?

DS: John. (Heiner)

AC: John, yeah. He worked in the suit stand.

DS: Yeah, that was his life. I mean he had to be in really bad shape if he wasn’t there seven days a week and there was an occasion or two that he wasn’t there. See, things are coming back - used to do all the baptizing.

AC: I've heard - Were you baptized there?

DS: No, Dan (Sommers) was.

AC: Yeah, I know he was.

DS: Dan and a cousin just three or four months older than Dan, John D.; RaeDell’s (Heiner Giles) older brother that died when he was just a young man.

AC: Yeah.

DS: They were baptized there. They finally put a font in over here at the old stone church here in North Morgan and that was the only one in the area stake for a long, long time.

AC: Yeah, I know Dan (Sommers) was [baptized] there, Camille Wilde…

DS: Oh, a lot of them.

AC:  Dean Rock.

DS: Oh yeah.

AC: They were all baptized there.

DS: They did it year round too.

AC: They said it was cold.

DS: Grandpa would go in there and fill that pool up enough to get them under. It had an old wooden fire place type thing free standing in the middle of it back there. He’d get fires going back in there for them. It didn’t keep you warm but you thought it did after they’d get out of there, you know to get dried off. I was there when Dan was baptized. I can remember it and that. Dan and John D. were baptized, and it was cold. There were a lot of people baptized inside there in the old swimming pool.

AC: Really, that’s neat. Well I can’t think of…

DS: Like I say there's things that pop up.

AC: Yeah, I’m sure there will be even more after I leave.

DS: Oh yeah, I’m sure there will be.

AC: That’s all I have. It’s been a good.

DS: I hope I’ve helped you some.

AC: It has, it’s been good.

DS: The lake was formed there fine but all the water didn’t run through the lake. It was in a pipe underneath the lake so we could block it off and make the water go still and freeze it but it was tough.

AC: Yeah.

DS: I’ll tell you what, we fell through it more than once, then we’d start getting a little braver, you know. Up in the upper end it wouldn’t freeze because that’s where it was first starting. We’d just keep getting a little closer, and a little closer; pretty soon wham, somebody went through it.

AC: Someone would go through huh?

DS: Yeah.

AC: So you’d just have to block off the warm water going underneath?

DS: From going right through the lake it’s self, then put it underneath in this big cement pipe.

AC: You just blocked that off for it to freeze huh?

DS: Yeah.

AC: That’s neat, Okay.

(End of recording)

bottom of page