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Emigration Canyon milestones

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LeGrand Young, Brigham Young's nephew, in 1907 built a narrow-gauge electric line from Salt Lake City to Pinecrest in Emigration Canyon. Initially constructed to haul sandstone to the valley, the Emigration Canyon Railroad Co. later offered passenger service until its demise in 1917.

The Swiss chalet-style Pinecrest Inn, built in 1913, served as a hotel, nuns' retreat, polio training center, LDS Church girls' camp and a hotel again before being dismantled in 1949. The rubble caught fire two years later, igniting rumors the inn had burned down.

The Pinecrest Inn, boasting cross-country skiing, tobogganing and skating, was touted as a winter resort to rival St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 1921.

U.S. Sen. Reed Smoot of Utah in 1927 offered President Calvin Coolidge the Pinecrest Inn as a summer White House. Coolidge visited Salt Lake City that year but neither accepted nor rejected the offer.

The Wagener Brewing Co. built the largest brewery west of the Mississippi River at the mouth of the canyon near a spring. It attracted soldiers from Fort Douglas, revelers and families. The four-story structure burned down in 1914.

Hogs were allegedly brought into the lower canyon to combat rattlesnake threats to horses and humans. The notion was rattlesnakes' venom would not penetrate to the bloodstream of a fat hog.

In the 1930s, the entrance gate from Hollywood's Paramount Studios was installed in front of what once was the Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast Inn and now bears the name The Royal Scotsman.

Convicted killer Mark Hofmann may have built one of his deadly bombs in a rented garage in the canyon. FBI agents found antiques stored in the shed.

Source: "The History of Emigration Canyon"