Trestlewood

Look around you…

The beautiful wood you see used throughout Desert Pearl Inn is old-growth redwood and Douglas fir reclaimed from the historic Lucin Cutoff railroad trestle that once spanned the Great Salt Lake.

The Great Salt Lake had always been a major obstacle to the railroads. It was no wonder then that a cutoff across the lake became the dream and scheme of William Hood, chief engineer of the Southern Pacific Railroad system and owner of the old Central Pacific. Hood dreamed of crossing the lake as far back as the 1860s, but there was neither financing nor traffic to warrant such an expenditure. Most likely, there was not the engineering faith to tackle such a project, so the line was instead built through the rugged hills at the north end of the lake, entailing a slow and arduous 700-foot climb over eleven miles. When Edward H. Harriman assumed control of the railroad, Hood found a man who sympathized with and believed in his plans, and more importantly, was willing to provide money for the grand project.

The north end of the Great Salt Lake is the site of the Golden Spike, the final meeting place of the transcontinental railroad. It is also the place where in 1901 the Southern Pacific began construction of the Lucin Cutoff—a line to run from Ogden straight over the lake on a trestle nearly twelve miles long, then over the desert flats (one hundred and two miles in all) to Lucin where it rejoined the old line. On September 18, 1904, the cutoff was opened and the new line carried its first train traffic. The twelve miles of wood trestle were an engineering marvel. It took 3,000 men more than three grueling years, working in extreme summer heat and freezing winter cold, to complete this grand engineering feat. Forty-three miles of slow, dangerous grades and curves through the mountains north of the lake were eliminated with the opening of this straight new route. By 1959, traffic ceased on the line and in March of 1993, timber salvaging began. It is from this old-growth fir and redwood cut in Oregon, Texas, and Michigan and virtually unobtainable today that the door and window frames, upper decks, soffits, interior and exterior beams, trellis, and beautifully milled cabinetry and flooring of the Desert Pearl Inn have been crafted.

Our use of trestle wood helps to conserve the earth’s limited natural resources and makes for a more aesthetic and intriguing addition to the inn.

To read more about Trestlewood history, visit this informative link:

http://historytogo.utah.gov