Only the most compelling stories and the most talented authors are able to make history jump off the written page and transport readers to the foreign country that is the past. For most, physical remnants such as authentic artifacts, photographs, and historic landmarks offer a more tangible connection to yesteryear. A few weeks ago our archivists re-discovered an even clearer window into the past, eighty-year old video recordings from the early days of Rainbow Lodge. Needless to say, we were pumped.
Now digitized, the video provides us with some of those engaging details that give history geeks hot flashes, and that inform niche interests in ways that other media simply can’t match.
This short clip shows Alex Philip taking guests for a leisurely sail around Alta Lake on a late summer day. Note the same unmistakable skyline of Mounts Currie, Weart, and Wedge that greets present-day Rainbow Park sun worshippers.
In another video equine enthusiasts actually get to see Jean Tapley’s horseback style as she races one of the “Bob’s” around the Rainbow Lodge yard.
A third clip conveys the raw industrial power of an old steam train better than any photo ever could. Sometimes Alta Lake’s snows were heavy enough to bog down the plow trains, so they would often charge full steam ahead through the snow to keep up their momentum. I’m still amazed by the man riding on top (note how the burly train-rider chose a sideways, snowboard-style stance as the most stable, or, maybe, the most fun).
All of these clips have been uploaded to our Youtube Channel. Take a visit and browse our other videos to gain an even greater window into the past.