COOL STUFF IN UTAH


EPISODE 43 – The Fear Factory
Are you ready for Halloween? Jon Smith is taking us to Fear Factory on this episode of Cool Stuff in Utah!


EPISODE 42 – The Sheep Dog Festival
Do you love dogs and history? Out near Heber, you’ll find Soldier Hollow. Established in the 1960s, and hosted the world’s top Nordic skiers and biathletes in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. You may NOT know that today, it also serves as one of the finest sites for a sheepdog trial. Today Jon Smith visits the 19th annual Soldier Hollow Classic and learns about the heritage and traditions that go into the festival, and how that ties into Utah’s fantastic history and landscape.


EPISODE 41 – The Utah Governers Mansion
The Utah Governers Mansion, known officially as the “Kearns Mansion” s a 16,000-square-foot house built in 1902 by Silver Mine Billionaire Thomas Kearns. Our boy, Jon Smith takes a look at the crazy history of this house. Did it really have a bowling alley that was destroyed by monkeys? Did the Governers Christmas Tree really burn the building down in the 90s? Did Jon secretly wear the Governers cowboy hat?


EPISODE 40 – SLC’S Memory Grove
At the base of the State Capitol lies the mouth of City Creek Canyon. The literal stopping point for the pioneers who settled Salt Lake City in the 1840s. It wasn’t until the 1920s that it was actually developed into a city park, and thanks to the “Gold Star Mothers” one of the biggest collections of memorials to fallen Utah soldiers, sailors, and airmen from WW1, WW2, Korea, and Vietnam.
Many facts and myths are contained in Memory Grove, so 103.5 The Arrow’s Jon Smith goes in for a closer look!


EPISODE 39 – Cedar City Main Street
Cedar City is not only the home of SUU, it’s Festival City USA! Today we explore Cedar’s historic Main Street! Why is there a church made out of rocks? Is there really a hidden Pharmacy Museum in the basement of a historic drug store? Is there really a type of Root Beer you can ONLY get in Cedar City? Jon Smith shows you things you may not know about Iron County.


EPISODE 38 – The Bay
In 1915 The Fraternal Order Of The Eagles built what I knew as “The Bay”. But of course, that wasn’t until 1990. Before that The Eagles used it for their club in the Roaring 20’s. An Insurance company called it their home from the 1950s to the 1980s, and it’s currently home to CAFFE MOLISE. Is anything from The Bay inside? Is the pool still there? Did Vanilla Ice really do a show here once? Find out in the latest COOL STUFF IN UTAH.


EPISODE 37 – Utah Shakespeare Festival
The Utah Shakespeare Festival began in1961, and is one of the oldest and largest Shakespearean festivals in North America. Today 103.5 The Arrow’s Jon Smith heads to Cedar City to check out the festival as it begins and runs through October. Get an inside look at the theaters on the SUU campus, and hear about the history of a Utah event that now attracts more than 150,000 visitors every year!


EPISODE 36 – The Utah State Prison
In 1951 The Utah State Prison opened its gates to its new home at Point Of The Mountain. 70 years later, this large complex is getting ready to close those gates, and move to a new state-of-the-art facility. This week, Jon Smith goes INSIDE to look at the old prison, spending time on death row, talking to officers, and even the inmates. There’s a LOT of history in this one. It’s more Cool Stuff In Utah!


EPISODE 35 – The Utah State Prison
In 1951 The Utah State Prison opened its gates to its new home at Point Of The Mountain. 70 years later, this large complex is getting ready to close those gates, and move to a new state-of-the-art facility. This week, Jon Smith goes INSIDE to look at the old prison, spending time on death row, talking to officers, and even the inmates. There’s a LOT of history in this one. It’s more Cool Stuff In Utah!


EPISODE 34 – The Salt Lake Hardware Building
First opened in 1909, the Salt Lake Hardware building was a HUGE addition to the SLC skyline. Five floors, all a full square acre, housed everything from socks to stoves that people could order from their catalog.

Jon Smith goes inside to find out what happened to Salt Lake Hardware, and how the building went from abandoned warehouse to in demand office.


EPISODE 33 – Gilgal Sculpture Garden
Just east of 700 E and 500 S you’ll find a VERY curious park called the Gilgal Sculpture Garden. Where you will see 70 stones that were once the backyard decoration of a local contractor. Off-limits to the public for decades, it was brought back to life by donations and volunteers in 2005. Today Jon Smith shares some of the history and facts about Gilgal that you may not know!


EPISODE 32 – Union Pacific Depot
The ICONIC Union Pacific Depot building in Salt Lake City has stood at the west end of South Temple since 1909, and was originally described as “The Finest Train Station In The Western US”. Even though the trains stopped using the Depot in 1986, this building still has a lot of stories to tell. Jon Smith takes a look inside the grand hall, and even into some rarely seen BACKSTAGE areas of “The Depot”‘s concert hall!


EPISODE 31 – Cathedral Of The Madeline
This week, Jon Smith explores one of the most iconic buildings in Salt Lake City! The Cathedral Of The Madeline on South Temple has stood for the Roman Catholic church for more than 110 years, and still serves as an active Cathedral for any who wishes to visit.


EPISODE 30 – Trolley Square
Trolley Square has been MANY things over the last 120 years. Of course the home of Salt Lake City’s first Trolley system, The city kept all of its busses there in the 50s, and for the last 50 years, one of the most interesting shopping locations. Jon Smith heads in to point out some of the history you can still find today.


EPISODE 29 – Masonic Temple
It’s SEASON 2 of COOL STUFF IN UTAH!! We went to one of the MOST MYSTERIOUS buildings in SLC!
The Salt Lake Masonic Temple is a mysterious and curious landmark located on South Temple for nearly 100 years!
The Egyptian-style building was built in 1927 and has been in constant use ever since.
Today Jon Smith takes a look inside at some of the ceremonial rooms, banquet halls, and finds some areas that have not been in use since the 1970s.


EPISODE 28 – Wendover Airfield PART 2
Today Jon Smith continues our tour of the Wendover Air Field. Home to the Enola Gay, and the Manhattan Project. A rare off-limits look at a former military base that is literally preserved in time.


EPISODE 27 – Wendover Air Field
At the peak of World War 2, Utah’s west desert was the home of Wendover Air Field. It was also the home to the Enola Gay, and where the US Army would build the worlds first Atomic Bomb.

The base was closed and largely abandoned in 1969 and now serves as a small commuter airport, museum, and even a movie set! How much of that history remains? Turns out, quite a bit! Take a look as Jon Smith explores the former home of the famous 509th Bombing Group from WWII.


EPISODE 26 – Old Mill
The “Haunted” Old Mill has sat near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon for more than 150 years. When it was first built by Deseret News, it was one of the biggest paper mills in the western US. It’s been many things since then. In the 20’s it was a speakeasy during prohibition. It was a rock and roll club in the ’60s, and of course a Spook Alley in the 80s. The inside has been off-limits for more than 30 years, and the building was condemned in 2005. But Jon Smith found a way to get a look INSIDE Utah’s famous Old Mill.

 


EPISODE 25 – Asylum 49
For over 50 years this was a public hospital in Tooele County. It is now Asylum 49. This popular haunted attraction is one of the top haunts in Utah. Operating seasonally as a “haunt” in the fall and allowing ghost investigators to do paranormal research year-round. Construction started in 1949, with the first patients admitted in 1952. The Hospital was severely underfunded and for years had to make do with little staff and few supplies. The results have made this one of the most “Haunted Places in America”

 


EPISODE 24 – The Dame of South Temple
Today a lesser-known treasure in Salt Lake City. This unassuming “house” at 850e and South Temple was the home of the Women’s Literary Club for 100 years and was once referred to as “The Dame Of South Temple”. It’s slowly coming back to life and being restored for use as an event and reception center. Jon Smith takes a look inside the surprisingly large room that once held events for the “who’s who” of Women in Utah.

 


EPISODE 23 – The Old 49th St. Galleria
If you lived in Utah in the ’80s, you knew “The Galleria”. Or perhaps you called it “The Fun Dome” as it was known in the mid-90s.

 


EPISODE 22 – The Alta Club
Inside one of the most exclusive clubs in the entire country, right here in Utah. The Alta Club has been part of Salt Lake City for 138 years, and for all that time has been off-limits unless you’re a member. Until now! Go inside The Alta Club with Jon Smith!

 


EPISODE 21 – The Summum Pyramid
When you think of pyramids, Egypt, the Mayans, even Las Vegas come to mind. Did you know there’s a pyramid right in Downtown Salt Lake City? Yep, The Summum Pyramid was built around 1980 right off of I-15, and is the subject of many myths and urban legends. Today our boy, Jon Smith takes us INSIDE the pyramid and asks “Do they have mummies?” Spoiler alert, yes. Yes they do.

 


EPISODE 20 – Utah Fire Museum
One of the biggest Firefighting Museums in the United States is right here in Utah! Located in Tooele County, The Utah Fire Museum has 32,000 square feet of history and more than 50 Fire Engines dating all the way back to the late 1800s, all of which have a connection to the State Of Utah.

Did you know that for a short time in the 1950’s the government said all fire engines must be GREEN? Or that in the 1970’s Utah ambulances used a rotary dial on their radios? Some of the cool stuff we learn on this week’s COOL STUFF IN UTAH

 


EPISODE 19 – Utah Exploring the history of SLC’s Memory Grove
At the base of the State Capitol, lies the mouth of City Creek Canyon. The literal stopping point for the pioneers who settled Salt Lake City in the 1840’s It wasn’t until the 1920’s that it was actually developed into a City Park, and thanks to the “Gold Star Mothers” one of the biggest collections of memorials to Fallen Utah soldiers, sailors, and airmen from WW1. WW2. Korea, and Vietnam.

Many facts and myths are contained in Memory Grove, so Jon Smith goes in for a closer look!

 


EPISODE 18 – Utah State History Collection / Utah State Archives
Recently we stumbled on a literal treasure room of Utah’s history. Artifacts from Utah’s recent events dating all the way back to the original state flag. What we didn’t know is that this collection is separate from the Utah State Archives which is in a building next door. The Archives contain the original declaration of statehood, as well as the personal records of the original pioneers who settled the State. Jon Smith is going to show us some of the states most important documents and artifacts which until we open an actual Utah State History museum can only be seen online. This is definitely some “Cool Stuff in Utah”

 


EPISODE 17 – The Villa Theater
Let’s check out THE VILLA THEATER! The old Villa opened in 1949 and had one of the biggest screens in the country. From South Pacific, Night Of The Living Dead, Indiana Jones, Star Wars.. This was THE theater in Utah. But after years of neglect and growing competition the building was about to be torn down. Literally saved at the last minute by Dr. Hamid Adib who renovated the building, and turned it into Adib’s Rug Gallery. Jon Smith takes a look at the Villa’s incredible history and shows us what’s become of The Villa in the last 20 years.

 


EPISODE 16 – The Ogden Highschool
The Million Dollar High School! In 1937, Ogden High School was the most expensive High School ever built. With its marble walls, and art deco style, it’s no surprise that Ogden High has plenty of secrets and history inside. Jon Smith takes us on a closer look inside and out, and even a look inside some “secret” tunnels underneath.

 


EPISODE 15 – Lagoon Part 2
Today we’re taking an even closer look at one of the oldest amusement parks in the US. Lagoon has been family-owned and operated for 135 years! inside Lagoon is Pioneer Village, an actual pioneer town with original structures from the 1800s, and one of the largest collections of rare firearms in the country. Including weapons from the Revolutionary War, outlaws from the old west, and even some 17th-century crossbows. ALSO, Jon smith takes a surprising look INSIDE what remains of Lagoon’s famous “Funhouse” which has been closed since 1986.

 


EPISODE 14 – Lagoon
Lagoon is one of the oldest amusement parks in the country and is one of the only family-owned parks in the world. They were also an instrumental part of racial desegregation here in Utah! Jon Smith takes us on a tour showing us where you can find the old stage which was home to The Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Doors, as well as where you can still find charred wood from a fire in 1953 that burned down the famous Roller Coaster. PLUS! A walk through the Terroride!

 


EPISODE 13 – The Utah State Archives
Beneath the Rio Grande train station is where you’ll find the Utah State Archives. The biggest collection of our state’s history ever created. Over 30,000 artifacts including books, uniforms, mining tools, manuscripts, maps, and over 270 THOUSAND original photos dating back to the early 1800’s. This episode almost didn’t happen. We sort of just wandered in by mistake and they were kind enough to show us some of the amazing items from Utah’s past, including the ORIGINAL Utah state flag.

 


EPISODE 12 – The Rio Grande Station
Salt Lake City’s RIO GRANDE Station was a central hub for people traveling east and west from 1910 until 1999. Built in fierce competition for rail passengers, no expense was spared at more than double the cost of the Union Pacific Depot built a year earlier, and less than a mile away. Jon Smith gets a unique view of this historic building revealed by Utah’s recent earthquake and gets a look at efforts still underway to repair the damage.

 


EPISODE 11 – The Utah Art Castle
Hidden among the houses hear the Utah State Fairgrounds is a gothic style building that from the late 1800s to the 1960s was the 15th Ward Chapel for members of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. Shortly after that, it became a recording studio. And by that, we mean a BIG recording studio. BB King, Dolly Parton, even used recently to record Eminem and The Backstreet Boys. Not only that several famous movie scores have been laid down right inside this small church once used by the pioneers on Sunday Mornings.

Recently, LA East Studios vacated the old building, and a small group of Utah Art Enthusiasts are hoping to preserve it with a new roof, and a new name. The Utah Art Castle. But before they do that, Jon Smith wanted to go in and snoop around.

 


EPISODE 10 – The Walker Bank Building
The bright blue (and red) tower of the Walker Bank building has been a part of Salt Lake City’s skyline for over 100 years. Did you know that the tower itself tells you the weather? When it was first built in 1912 The Walker building was the tallest in the state, and you’d have to go all the way to Chicago or San Fransisco to find a taller structure. Today Jon Smith shows you what’s inside, and of course on TOP of the state’s original weather forecaster

 


EPISODE 9 – Fort Douglas
Today we visit Fort Douglas! Originally built to protect mail routes during the Civil War, this historic site is now home to a very unique military museum focusing on Utah’s role with the US Army! Also Smith plays with a bunch of stuff he’s not supposed to touch.

 


EPISODE 8 – City County Building
Jon Smith goes in, on, and under one of the oldest buildings in Salt Lake City! Are there tunnels under SLC? Did the recent earthquake damage the 124 year old City County Building? How exactly did Jon end up on the roof??

It’s Cool Stuff In Utah!

 


EPISODE 7 – Allen Park
Growing up in Utah you most likely heard the urban legend of “Hobbitville”. Well today we get one of the very first public looks at Hobbitville. Actually known as Allen Park. Located in Sugarhouse this 7-acre plot of land has been a mystery to most since it was first named in the 1930’s. Closed to the public since 1961, Jon Smith is among the first to explore some of the history and oddity of one of Utah’s most curious urban legends.

 


EPISODE 6 – The New Salt Lake International Airport
This week our host, Jon Smith takes us into both the old.. and NEW Salt Lake International Airport. Find out what goes into tearing down one of the busiest airports in the western US, while building a new one on top of it while in operation. This is the newest “cool stuff in Utah”

 


EPISODE 5 – The Fear Factory
Jon Smith goes inside one of the SCARIEST and reportedly most haunted buildings in the WORLD. Salt Lake City’s “Fear Factory” was built over 100 years ago as a cement factory. After a series of industrial accidents, and events that “cannot be explained” it was reopened in 2010 as a premiere haunted attraction.

 


EPISODE 4 – The Great Salt Air
One of Utah’s most interesting and apparently flammable landmarks. Jon talks about the MANY tragic happenings at The Great Saltair. Originally built on the shores of the Great Salt Lake around the turn of the century, Saltair has been a part of Utah since before Utah was a state. Believe it or not, the current Saltair is not the original building or location. Find out where Saltair was, what’s left of it, and where you can go to find it yourself on Cool Stuff In Utah.

 


EPISODE 3 – The Salt Lake City Public Safety Building
Home to the Utah Emergency Operations Center, Salt Lake City Fire Department, SLC911, and the Salt Lake City Police Department, obviously there’s a lot going on in one of the most important structures in Utah’s capital city. But many, in fact, MOST Utahans don’t know about a secret museum that is hidden inside. In fact, most of the people who work IN the Public Safety Building are not aware of it’s existence.. Until now. Join Jon Smith and Detectives Ruff, and Wilking of @slcpd as they look at some of Utah’s most important artifacts kept in a secret room, hiding in plain sight

 


EPISODE 2 – The Salt Lake City Cemetery
Jon Smith explores one of the largest municipally-owned cemeteries in the world this week and takes a closer look at the Utah folk heroes, icons, and even urban legends underneath the graveyard of the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Located in downtown Salt Lake, it’s the final resting place of some of Utah’s most fascinating people.

 


EPISODE 1 – The Triad Center
Jon Smith welcomes us to his new video project titled “Cool Stuff In Utah”. Which we’re guessing he didn’t take a lot of time coming up with. For the pilot episode, Jon takes us on a tour of the “Triad Center” in Salt Lake City. Home of KSL, Deseret News, and of course 103.5 The Arrow. There’s a whole list of hidden facts about this building that people don’t know, and a great look at what MIGHT have been had the Triad Center been built to its original design. You’ll learn about some gems hidden in plain sight on Cool Stuff In Utah