Landmarks
Devil’s Slide- Located eight miles east of Morgan on Interstate 84 is a unique geological formation named Devil’s Slide. The slide or chute, as it appears, consists of two, huge, forty-foot slabs of limestone rocks extending parallel to each other up the mountain side. Both the east bound and westbound lanes of Interstate 84 have pull-offs for viewing the feature.

Devil’s Gate- Because of its location and geographical formation, Weber Canyon was destined to become the commercial “Gateway” through the Wasatch Mountains thus connecting the plateau of the Continental Divide with the Great Salt Lake Basin area. Located in the West End of the canyon, where its water flows to the Salt Lake, is a rugged gorge with steep canyon walls extending upward on both sides to heights of approximately 9000 feet above sea level. Located in the bottom of the canyon on the streambed, is a legendary historical chasm called “The Devil’s Gate.”

This special geological formation of rock was so named over a century ago by explorers, mountain men and emigrants because it locked up the canyon to the extent that only the most adventurous and fearless dare enter or trespass through the canyon.

The series of events which took place that provided the key to unlocking the Devil’s Gate, is a unique western drama of pioneering achievement.

The first “pole” was removed from the gate in 1855 when human dreams and desires of the Thurston’s and Peterson’s families brought forth the necessary energy and sacrifice to build the first wagon trail. In 1866, the Weber Canyon Road Company was formed and their efforts upgraded the trail to a wagon road.

Western expansion and construction of the Transcontinental Railroad brought the railway through the canyon. The remaining “bars” of the gate were removed when the Lincoln Highway. Later the interstate highway system enlarged the road through the canyon and eliminated traveling through the Devil’s Gate. However, opening the gate did come at the cost of sacrificing much of the beauty and natural environment of the canyon. This section of the Weber River has become a popular kayaking area in recent years.

Devil’s Gate is located at the Morgan/Weber County line, on the north side of the interstate near mile marker #91.

The “M” - Following the completion of the first high school building in Morgan County the students undertook a project to place a block “M” on the hill overlooking the new campus.

Under the direction of advisors the graduating class of 1915-16, male and female students, hiked to the selected site on the hill to remove brush and dig a trench in the shape of a block “M”. The shallow trench was then filled with loose rock from the surrounding area. Apparently the letter was constructed in the spring as water from a snowdrift in Fry Hollow (to the east of the M) was melted to mix with the calcimine which was used for whitewash on the rocks

The “M” required yearly maintenance, as livestock grazing in the area dislodged many of the rocks from the shallow trench. The whitewash would also have to be reapplied. From 1920 until 1952-53 male students cemented sections of the letter until it was entirely make of concrete. After that maintenance consists of applying a yearly coat of white paint. For many years the school held an “M” Day when senior boys were excused from classes to travel to the “M”, apply the new coat of paint, and do minor repairs, if necessary.

Each spring the school continues the traditional painting of the “M”. Then on graduation night another tradition is carried out, as pots of fuel that have been placed along the outline of the letter are set ablaze. This illuminates the landmark for all those throughout the valley to view and know another class of Morgan High School students have graduated.

The “M” also continues to serve as a “welcome home beacon” to local residents as they return from areas outside the county.

 

© 2007 Morgan County Historical Society