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Davis Journal

The Book Nook: Abandoned Utah

Jan 21, 2021 11:38AM ● By Tom Haraldsen

(Editor’s Note: The Davis Journal will publish stories on new books on a regular basis. This is the second story in that series. Here, editor Tom Haraldsen gives an overview of the book)

Crumbling ceilings, collapsed floors and caved-in mine shafts are but a few of the perils that await visitors to certain sites in Utah, and they are colorfully depicted in “Abandoned Utah,” from Arcadia Press. Nick Bagley, who describes himself as “an abandoned building photographer,” enjoys exploring ghost towns, mines, homes and anything he can find along the way from seemingly endless journeys, and he’s found plenty to shoot in this artful collection of photos, with stories to accompany them. 

“Every place tells its own unique story,” he says in a release on the book. “Every ounce of dust contains a gold mine of significance. Remember, all things are doomed to be erased by time and decay.”

“Abandoned Utah” follows Bagley as he attempts to preserve the past through his photos. It reads like a history book, where he has researched every location he has visited, and tells the stories behind these photos. He says that each trip opens new doors in time, revealing how things once were. And he believes that history repeats itself, something he preserves through his camera lens.

“I was fascinated with abandoned structures and the history associated with them,” he says. “I explored and photographed as many places as I could find located near my small town of Hammondsport, New York. After college graduation, I moved to Utah to work as an ophthalmic photographer. I soon discovered that the state was full of abandoned mines, ghost towns, mills, and a plethora of other uniquely forgotten places. The pages showcase some of my favorite abandoned locations here in the state of Utah.”

Among those locations are Bauer, Modena, Mammoth, Jacob City and Silver Fork, Silver King Mine, Cottonwood Paper Mill, Marysvale, Thistle, the Swett Ranch, Ophir and the Wendover Air Force Base. If you are fascinated with historic sites in the Beehive State, you’ll enjoy this book, which is part of Arcadia’s America Through Time series.