“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Syracuse in Davis County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)

The Road To Nowhere

The Road To Nowhere Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, April 16, 2021
1. The Road To Nowhere Marker
Inscription.  As you survey the vast expanse of inland sea and the causeway fading off into the distance, imagine the days before the causeway existed - nearly seven miles of tangy saltwater separating you from the mainland.

Getting Underway
For over 100 years, Antelope Island belonged to private industry and was virtually inaccessible to the curious public. Construction of the road to connect Antelope Island with the mainland didn't begin until February 1964. Support and help came through County Legislators, including Representative Bill Holt, known as Antelope Bill, and many other county citizens. Without determined effort in the early 1960s made by Davis County Commission and the combined efforts of Davis County Commissioners Wayne M. Winegar, G. Evan Taylor, and Glen W. Flint, Dale Smedley Construc tion, and volunteers from Hill Air Force Base and local communities, the road would not have been started.
How did they do that? With about sixty feet between them, two draglines, like the one you see above, were positioned parallel to each other on wooden platforms to keep

</small>View of Causeway image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, April 16, 2021
2. View of Causeway
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them from sinking into the lake muck. The machines "walked on these mats, swinging them from back to the front of the machine when the bucket could no longer reach to scoop the trench. As the fall from the trench dried, it created a road base as solid as cement.

Determination Continued
Despite sub-zero weather, the equipment drove across a sandbar to within 112 miles of the island where men and machines began an around-the-clock labor to complete the 5 1/2 mile road back to the mainland. Through the determination and hard work of many people, the road reached the Syracuse shore three months later.
Bridging the Gap Following the completion of the causeway, the lake level began to rise on the south side by an inch a day. After several failed attempts to use drain culverts to allow the incoming fresh water free passage to the north arm of the lake, the engineers determined that the only workable solution was to remove part of the road and build a bridge to span the gap.

One Problem Still Remains
The road led to nowhere. (Remember, the road ended within 12 miles of the island.) Commissioner Winegar, chairman, solicited the support and financial aid of local communities to finish the final 1 1/2 mile stretch while Senator Haven J. Barlow worked diligently with state

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legislators and two governors to sell the idea of purchasing part of the island as a state park. After a delay of almost 3 years, Governor Calvin Rampton signed the bill calling for the purchase of the north 2,000 acres of the island for $210,000 in 1967. The state built a bridge, raised the surface level, widened and paved the causeway for improved access, and Antelope Island State Park opened to the public on January 15, 1969.
Labor of Love Their love of the island drove volunteers like Ira Thurgood to donate equipment and to dedicate thousands of hours to complete the project.

The Rest of the Story
With the passing of the legislation and Governor Scott M. Matheson's concurrence, the state purchased the remaining 26,000 acres from the Anschutz Corporation in 1981. During the floods of 1983, the lake levels rose dramatically, completely covering the causeway. Once the waters receded, the county raised the causeway you see before you. It reopened in 1993.
All that Remained Following years of heavy flooding, the upper half of the gatehouse peeking out of the waves was all that indicated a road had ever existed.

Thanks to the vision, ingenuity, and persistent dedication of the leaders and people

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of Davis County, Antelope Island was and is a crown jewel of Utah State Parks.
Erected by A Friends of Antelope Island and Haven J. Barlow Project.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasRoads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1967.
Location. 41° 3.549′ N, 112° 14.25′ W. Marker is near Syracuse, Utah, in Davis County. Marker is at the intersection of Antelope Island Road and Davis County Causeway, on the left when traveling south on Antelope Island Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Syracuse UT 84075, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Brine Shrimp and the Great Salt Lake (approx. ¼ mile away); Hollywood Comes to Antelope Island (approx. 3.7 miles away); Our Desert Island Home (approx. 7 miles away); Welcome to the Frary Homestead (approx. 7 miles away); Island Adventures (approx. 7 miles away); “Our Home So Dear” (approx. 7 miles away); Hensley / Salt Lake Cutoff-Bluff Road (approx. 8.1 miles away); Hensley/Salt Lake Cutoff Ruts (approx. 8.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Syracuse.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 29, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Last updated on May 5, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 29, 2021, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 12, 2021