Small town Utah: Tremonton

Tremonton is a small Northern Utah town near the I-15 and I-84 split and is the last town with a built up commercial district before Idaho. It’s a place I have wanted to photograph for some time but as it turns out it is a tricky one. It has a typical Main Street that is essentially a fast moving but narrow part of the road with the usual lawyers, hardware store, storefront gym, chinese restaurant. Unlike other small towns I have posted about it lacks an ideal intersection or classic group of buildings. In my wandering about I am attracted to how old commercial buildings learn. They start as one thing, then changes are made for new uses and their appearance becomes a conglomeration of the past and present. On my first visit to photograph it was the buildings with large murals that caught my eye. The image above I really enjoy for it’s scrapbook feel and the image below for it’s understated somewhat somber feel.

Areas like the one below are usually my first stop. They have so much going on and give clues to the economic reality of the downtown. In this case I would say things look good (lack of trash or graffiti, windows still functional etc.). The harsh midday sun makes a cool shadow of the dish mounted on the wall. The neat cluster of objects around the window. The two doors so close to one another and the three strong verticals and the collection wires that make a mess of an otherwise ordered area. Great location.

Lastly we have Main Street and a huge featureless brick wall. There are a few other building that I did not photograph that have potential. One is a huge old Sinclair station with a large neon sign, plate glass windows and an old style canopy. Tremonten is close enough to Logan so I’m sure I’ll be exploring and photographing it some more.

Looking at: Garland Utah

Found this little town during one of my recent explorations of Northern Utah. A one stop sign town with a mostly nice commercial district. Few places to actually stop into but many buildings seem occupied to some extent (a good thing). Garland was a company town based around the Utah Sugar Company. A brief history can be found on the Garland Utah website.

Above: a tractor at the main intersection in Garland, Utah. The yellow brick commercial building has signage that suggests that the Bank of Garland was once the occupant.

Above: mural showing the Utah Sugar Company building. Much of the complex has been removed though the smokestack remains.

Above: nicely maintained yellow brick commercial building. Looks to be fully occupied, a good thing for the life of a building and the downtown in general.

Grain Elevator, Preston Idaho

One of my first excursions when I moved to Cache Valley was a visit to Preston, Idaho. A famous place here in the valley as it was the setting for the film Napoleon Dynamite. Upon arrival from the south one of the first things you see is a large grey tin sided grain elevator. I liked this one because it looked so humble. Logan has a few and they look somewhat industrial though at a much smaller scale than those seen on I-15 in Ogden. In the afternoon, the time I’m usually in Preston, the grain elevator is back lit and thus I had not photographed it on my first few visits. This past January I was testing a perspective control lens that I had rented for a job and thought this grain elevator would make a great subject. A little over a month later the grain elevator caught fire.

Video clip linked from Youtube user hullhollyjo.

Technical info: Top image captured with the Nikon D300s and 24mm PC-E lens (from, post fire images D300s and 45mm PC-E lens. Processed in Adobe Lightroom 4.