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Saltair: 1900

Utah circa 1900. "Saltair Pavilion, Great Salt Lake." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

Utah circa 1900. "Saltair Pavilion, Great Salt Lake." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


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A ghost of its former self

Grandpa's Stomping Grounds

When my Grandpa was a young man, he traveled from his hometown in northern Wyoming to Salt Lake City for training, before leaving to serve as a missionary in the LDS Church's Central States Mission. Apparently his training consisted of a few rides on the Saltair roller-coaster and some bobbing among the brine shrimp. I hardly think that this regimen would pass muster now...

I've seen the latest one.

I was Salt Lake 20 years ago. The water was no where near the latest Pavilion. It was surrounded by acres and acres of dead brine shrimp. To say that the smell was overpowering would be puting it mildly.

Been there lately

I went to the Saltair last august. It's not nearly as cool as it is now, but still a very interesting stie to visit. I also walked into the great salt lake. It's gone down significantly in the last number of years. I walked what seems like forever, and could only get the water up to my knees.

I've also edited a short video set to insturmental NIN music featuring the chase scene at the end of Carnival of Souls.

Having a swell time

A postcard sent to Miss Knudson of Bingham City, Utah, in 1906:
"Salt Lake City, Utah. Aug. 4, 1906. Having a swell time wish you were here. Going to the lake to-night. Louella"

If you really want to see it

Carnival of Souls can be watched online at And if you are really into it, they have both the '62 version and the newer so you can compare the two.

As for the Saltair Pavillion, it is baffling to me that now that we have the tools to create structures that are true works of art, such as the one pictured here, instead, contemporary architecture is quite bland. Why is is that when it took considerably more time to carve with much more primitive tools, or even when carving was done by hand, whether in stone, wood, or other mediums; those were the days of intricate details and embellishments that took more than just a casual glance to appreciate. Would that we used our current technology to make building that caused one to stop and admire the structure and drink in the details, rather than just a quick, cursory look that covers it all.

Scary stuff

The final scene of "Carnival of Souls," shot at Saltair.

Probably a firetrap

But absolutely wonderful!

Carnival of Souls!

This is the first of three Saltair pavilions. Their fortunes have risen and fallen with the lake level, among other factors. This one was destroyed by fire in 1925. The second pavilion met the same fate in 1970, but had been closed since 1958. It was prominently featured in the 1962 cult classic "Carnival of Souls." A creepy, low-budget film well worth seeing.

A new Saltair was built in 1981, but its use is irregular.

It really has a fascinating history.


It's a very impressive pier with a look of the Byzantine about it; the end is very reminiscent of Brighton Pavilion in the UK. I love how it sweeps round in that long curve.

Carnival of Souls: The Prequel

It is, isn't it? It's the pavilion in the film.
OMG, as the kids say. And thankyou!

(And if anyone reading this has not yet seen Carnival of Souls - the original, not the remake - please find it and see it, if only to catch further glimpses of the Saltair Pavilion.)


That would have been a PAIN to maintain.

Carnival of Souls

I knew this from the cult film "Carnival of Souls," where a bedraggled, abandoned Saltair was the scene of the final confrontation between the protagonist and her ghostly nemesis. It's a lot more impressive in this image from its heyday.

Now that

is how you build a pier.


Featured in the cult classic "Carnival of Souls." In fact, the entire film was created to feature the dance hall.

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