Railroads and Canneries in Syracuse

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This page was last updated on March 24, 2013.

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Union Pacific's Syracuse Branch

(Read more about Union Pacific's Syracuse Branch)

Rio Grande's Syracuse Branches

Rio Grande's Kaysville depot was in Section 2, T3N, R1W (D&RG Valuation Map)

Bennett Branch

(More informaion about D&RGW's Bennett Branch in South Syracuse)

Hooper Branch

(Read more about D&RGW's Hooper Branch in Weber County)

Kingsville Spur

(More informaion about D&RGW's Kingsville Spur)

Farnsworth Spur

(More information anout D&RGW's Farnsworth Spur)

Syracuse Cannery

The cannery of the Syracuse Canning Company was located on the north side of the Union Pacific tracks where they crossed 4000 West. The canning company was organized in 1893 by James T. Walker, D. C. Adams, and others. These other parties included Daniel H. Walker, William S. Cook, Sr., William H. Miller, David Cook, James Warren, Gilbert Parker, John Ross, and William Beazer. The company operated on James Walker's property until a permanent factory could be built. That factory was built on two acres purchased from Walker in December 1898.

James T. Walker sold two acres of land to the Syracuse Canning Company in December 1898. Syracuse Canning Company bought 6.9 more acres in June 1902. Syracuse Canning Company was based in Salt Lake City and H. V. Van Pelt was president. (Davis County Book of Abstracts B, p.86)

In June 1902 the company expanded onto 6.9 more acres at the same location. At the time the company was based in Salt Lake City and H. V. Van Pelt was President.

The cannery business was later sold to D. C. Adams. In July 1918 the company was sold to the Kaysville Canning Company. The cannery was closed and in May 1945 the 8.5 acre site was sold to Willard Bambrough.

Syracuse Canning Company was sold to Kaysville Canning Company in July 1918. (Davis County Book of Abstracts B, p.153)

Kaysville Canning Company sold 8.59 acres, the site of the former Syracuse Canning Company, to Willard Bambrough in May 1945. (Davis County Book of Abstracts 53, Section 8, p. 1, line 25)

Barnes Cannery

The Davis County Canning Company was organized in May 1912 to operate a canning factory located on two and a half acres of land on the south side Union Pacific's tracks where its Syracuse Branch crosses 2000 West, at a siding that the railroad calls Barnes. The canning company began business as a reorganization of the John R. Barnes Company, which was operating a cannery in Kaysville and may have been operating a cannery at the Barnes location.

Original property, 2.5 acres, sold by John R. Barnes Company to the Davis County Canning Company in May 1912. (Davis County Book of Deeds Z, p. 38)

Just two years later the Davis County Canning Company was sold to the Kaysville Canning Company in June 1914. John R. Barnes was president of the Kaysville company.

John R. Barnes Company sold 0.75 acres to the Kaysville Canning Company in April 1914. John R. Barnes was the president of the Kaysville Canning Company. (Davis County Book of Abstracts A, p. 205, and Book 4, p. 91)

Davis County Canning Company was sold to the Kaysville Canning Company in June 1914. (Davis County Book of Abstracts A, p. 205, and Book 4, p. 91)

In September 1964 the Kaysville Canning Company sold a parcel a bit larger than one acre at Barnes to the C. H. Dredge Company.

Kaysville Canning Company sold an additional 1.2 acres to C. H. Dredge Company in September 1964. (Davis County Book of Abstracts A, p. 205, and Book 4, p. 91)

Three months later the canning company sold the remaining almost four acres of its property in Syracuse, at Barnes, to H. J. Barnes, who then resold it to C. H. Dredge.

Kaysville Canning Company sold 3.98 acres to H. J. Barnes in December 1964. (Davis County Book of Abstracts A, p. 205, and Book 4, p. 91)

H. J. Barnes sold the 3.98 acres parcel to C. H. Dredge Company in December 1964. (Davis County Book of Abstracts A, p. 205, and Book 4, p. 91)

West Point Cannery

William H Dalton, of Roy, sold the land to the West Point Canning Company in February 1925. West Point Canning then sold an easement, "as now constructed", to the D&RG in April 1925. (Davis County Book of Abstracts 5, p.175, lines 4 and 26)

In April 1925 the president of the West Point Canning Company was John I. Fisher.

West Point Canning Company went bankrupt and was sold at a Sheriff's sale on January 25, 1936, on the Davis County courthouse steps in Farmington. The high bidder was Ogden State Bank for $20,000.00. They took possession six months later on June 30, 1936. (Davis County Book of Abstracts 5, p.178, line 24, and Book of Deeds L, p.17)

West Point Canning Company's officers were Sirl Davis and Edwin G. Wells and Robert S. Wells, doing business as the Wells Brothers.

Barnes Beet Dump

In September 1923 Martin Gailey's widow sold some land along the north side of UP's Syracuse Branch, at 2000 West, to the Layton Sugar Company and the Interstate Sugar Company so that the sugar companies could build beet dumps at Barnes. The Layton Sugar Company bought Interstate's beet dump in October 1936, after the Interstate company went bankrupt in 1927.

Layton Sugar Company bought land for use as a beet dump along the north side of UP's Syracuse Branch from the wife and children of Martin Gailey in September 1923. At the same time Interstate Sugar Company bought adjacent property from the same individuals for the same purpose. (Davis County Book of Abstracts 4, p.93, and Book of Deeds 1‑D, p. 450)

The former Interstate property was sold by Consolidated Assets to Layton Sugar Company on October 22, 1936, after Interstate's bankruptcy in 1927. (Davis County Book of Abstracts 4, p. 210, and Book of Deeds 1‑O, pp. 46, 130)

Hooper Sugar Factory

(Read more about the Hooper sugar factory of Interstate Sugar Company)

Syracuse Resort

Syracuse resort early 'Oasis in the Desert'

By Doneta Gatherum

(Davis County Clipper, February 17, 1988)

Located at the west end of Antelope Drive (formerly the Syracuse Road) is the prosperous city of Syracuse, a settlement described in 1887 as "an Oasis in the Desert."

It wasn't the well-kept farms, homes and businesses that gave Syracuse this impressive title. The "Oasis in the Desert" was an advertising slogan used to promote the only pre-Saltair resort on the, Great Salt Lake to have shade trees.

The Syracuse resort was developed by D. C. Adams of Salt Lake City and Fred J. Kiesel of Ogden. The Union Pacific Railroad built a spur down to the lake to make traveling from Salt Lake and Ogden easy. The railroad hoped to haul salt from a plant on the lake shore near Syracuse on this same railroad extension.

A pavilion about 125 feet long by 75 feet wide, with a large bar in the west end and an orchestra stand on the north side was constructed along with a refreshment stand and bath houses. There were two swings to amuse the children and a merry-go-round driven by a horse. A spacious lawn on the east and shady poplar trees transplanted from Weber Canyon along with willow-covered boweries made the Syracuse resort Utah's finest recreational park — at least that's what the promoters wanted people to believe.

The grand opening celebration was held July 4, 1887. Two thousand people attended. There were 13 car loads from Ogden alone. Many stayed to dance to music provided by Ford's Quadrille Band.

A newspaper account published on June 27, 1887 stated, "The new pleasure resort on the Lake Shore near Ogden will hold a grand opening on Monday, July 4th.

"It is the finest beach anywhere on the lake. It is not muddy, in fact, it is just what is wanted for a first class resort. A strong substantial pier has been constructed and on it are erected a large number of bathhouses with every convenience for bathers. This is the only resort on the shore of the lake that has natural groves. The shade of the trees is excellent and well adapted to family and picnic parties. An excellent dancing floor and bowery have been constructed."

The bath houses had fresh water for showers that came from a ditch, probably the Hooper Canal. It was pumped into a raised tank and gravity fed into the bath houses. There were some artesian wells in West Syracuse that also provided fresh water for the resort.

Bathers were taken to and from the bath houses in a street car pulled by two mules and driven by a resort employee.

Excursion boats provided tours of nearby islands.

The Syracuse Resort became a favorite spot for quarterly conferences of the LDS Church, for church MIA socials and for family gatherings.

The first season everything went well. Predictions were that till Syracuse Resort would last forever, the perfect "Oasis in the Desert." Then the lake waters started to recede. Brackish mud replaced the fine beach sands. Flies covered the sand. Decaying algae started to smell.

The crowds dwindled. A legal dispute over ownership of the lane was the strong blow that finally closed this resort at the conclusion of the 1891 season.

The old pavilion was moved it 1903 or 1904 to the east end of the Syracuse Canning Factory. It was used for a store house. Dances were held there for one season but a weak foundation caused the floor to warp and it wasn't suitable for dancing.

Farmers used some of the remaining buildings for sheds.

Until three years ago when the lake waters washed out the Antelope Island road, a railroad "Y" and a few pillars from the pier could be seen just before the road entered the lake bed. Today these are covered with water.

One hundred years after the "Oasis in the Desert" was opened for business, nothing noticeable remains. Syracuse didn't become a great resort town like Atlantic City. It remained a farming community that today is experiencing urban growth and the development of an "Oasis" based on strong families, good job opportunities, and a high standard of living.