Arctic Circle: Follow Up

Business Affidavit for Arctic Circle, 1950. Salt Lake County Clerk, Business Affidavits, 1919-1962, series CL-034. Original records at Salt Lake County Archives.

Thank you to everyone that has commented or called about the Arctic Circle blog entry posted on August 9!

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Evolution Of An Ice Cream Stand

Arctic Circle ice cream stand, 135 East 900 South. Image taken in 1950. Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Photographs, serial 1-92.

This Arctic Circle was built in 1950 at 135 East 900 South in Salt Lake City.  It started out as a 420 square foot building, and on an early tax appraisal card was taxed for its plate glass windows, air conditioning, and neon tubing signs.  According to the Arctic Circle restaurant’s website, this was the first of founder Don Carlos Edwards’ restaurants that he called the Arctic Circle.  There are now Arctic Circles across 7 western states.

By 1953, the building had almost tripled in size and had neon tubing, 4 neon signs, and menu signs with lights.

Plot plan in 1950.

Plot plan in 1953.

Coolest of all, the restaurant had a “car hop control room” on the roof.  It can be seen on the left in this photograph taken in 1953.

Arctic Circle in 1953.  Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Photographs, serial 1-92.  “Don Carlos Bar-Be-Q” refers to Arctic Circle’s founder, Don Carlos Edwards.

In 1959, another addition was built on to the existing structure.  This Arctic Circle restaurant was still flipping burgers and making fry sauce at this location up until at least 2016 (if anyone knows exactly when it closed, please let us know!).

Arctic Circle does claim to be the inventor of the famed fry sauce and also the creator of kids meals.


Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Cards and Photographs.  Serial 1-92.  Salt Lake County Archives.

Arctic Circle History:  Accessed 08-08-2018.

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If you follow us on Instagram you’ve likely noticed pictures of our official mascot, Rusty.

Working in the office. Where’s my coffee?

Rusty works hard here at Salt Lake County Archives; mostly he does it in hopes that he’ll be rewarded with treats.

Ready for the next webinar.

Rusty is a therapy dog (licensed with Therapy Dogs International). This means he is highly skilled at getting petted. He has attended conferences and sits in on meetings, but mostly he provides moral support.

Rusty is of Poodle and Yorkie descent. Because he was adopted not much more is known about his genealogy, but he does enjoy helping others find their roots at family history conferences.

After a long morning’s work.

One of our archivists, Michaele, rescued Rusty 10 years ago. Shortly after that they moved to Virginia to attend the College of William and Mary, returning to Utah and to the Salt Lake County Archives in 2016. He is a well-traveled dog, having driven cross country twice (well, rode along).  He has also flown to archives all over the country, including the National Archives in Seattle, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Maryland, as well as several smaller archives in Pennsylvania and Washington State.

Trying to keep track of staff in a huge records center is tricky. This In/Out board helps.

*no animals or records were hurt in the creation of this blog post.

Entry contributed by Dr. Michaele Smith,  Archivist,  Salt Lake County Archives. 

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Where Is It, II

Several weeks ago,we posted an image of a building taken in 1937 and asked readers to guess the business that occupies it now.  Most of you provided the correct answer: The King’s English Bookstore, 1511 South 1500 East.  No one was able to name the cat that used to live amongst the bookshelves (her name was Agatha!).

Here is another building that still exists, and has a popular business in it.  This one might be a bit more difficult to recognize (let us know if you require more hints):

Image taken in 1939.  Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Photographs, serial 1-2093.

Built circa 1919, it was used at the time of this image (1939) as a service garage.  What business occupies this building now?  Extra points if you know what the White-Indiana company manufactured and sold.

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The Judge Building

This is a quick addition to the series on former Salt Lake County Attorney Harold Wallace. He had a private office in the Judge Building so we thought we’d share a picture of it. The building itself was constructed in 1907 and was named after Mary H. Judge, a local businesswoman. The architect was David C. Dart.

Third South and Main Street. Image taken circa 1940. Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Photographs, serial 1-1966.

Source: John S. McCormick, The Historic Buildings of Downtown Salt Lake City, (Utah State Historical Society: Salt Lake City, Utah), 1982, p. 95.

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Where Is It?

The image above was taken by the Salt Lake County Assessor in 1937.  Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Cards, serial 9-3609.

This building was constructed circa 1915, and over the course of its life has housed families as well as businesses.  Alvina Patterson and her husband moved in to the building when it was a residence in 1917, and lived there until at least 1962. Mrs. Patterson stated in a Board of Equalization application to the county that they opened a store a few years after moving in because the block had become commercial.

By 1965, the assessor noted that there were 2 little shops, 2 residences, and “a heap of junk” in the building.  In 1974, both stores were vacant, but someone was still living in the back of the building.

Plot plan of building from 1965.  Salt Lake County Tax Appraisal Cards, serial 9-3609.
























     What business occupies this building today?  (Hint: They started in 1977, and used to have a cat roaming the shelves).  Extra points if you can also name the cat.

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From the Desk of Harold Wallace

We’ve introduced you to Harold Wallace, former Salt Lake County Attorney, and now we thought we’d share some excerpts from his correspondence to give you more insight into his character.

Though most of his correspondence was of an official nature, at times he talked about his family.  In one such letter he thanked a business contact for kind words after the birth of one of his daughters. He wrote:

“My wife joins with me in expressing appreciation upon receipt of your congratulations on our new arrival. This new youngster has already brought more joy to us than could possibly be expressed in a twenty-page letter, and, therefore, will not attempt, at this time, to fully express our appreciation for the babe. If the joy which we had received with each addition to our family continues to grow in intensity, I cannot imagine the joy which we will receive on our twentieth child. I can only recommend to you that you and your sweet wife try that out in your own home to see what great and intense pleasure you can have with each new arrival.”

He was also able to poke fun at himself and his career. In a letter to the County Auditor about an unhappy citizen both had tried to help he wrote:

“I am sorry that he has seen fit to so debase the auditors as to place them in a class with attorneys.”

He wrote a letter to a supporter who had sung at a political rally:

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on having such a fine voice. I would rather be able to sing like you can than to be County Attorney.”

One of the things that really endeared him to us, though others might find this off-putting, was his snarky sense of humor. Below we’ve shared a letter he wrote in response to an inquiry about “mother’s homes” in Utah. (On the second page he offers a more serious post script inviting her to write again if this wasn’t the information she’d hoped for).

Salt Lake County Attorney’s Correspondence, series AD-006. Salt Lake County Archives.

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