Fun “Eureka” Moment in the Museum Library

Marie Haney’s dad, James Packer, is sitting to the left

of the guy with the sign.

So I’m sitting here pondering old pictures of Ogden when I hear Lee Witten, chief archivist at Union Station’s library, yell “Eureka” or words to that effect.


“Just don’t go running through town without your clothes,” I said. (Archimedes supposedly did that when he first made the shouting of eureka famous).


Archimedes discovered how to weigh a gold crown. Lee’s discovery was no less exciting, for those of us who do this stuff.


Marie Haney, Washington Terrace, donated a bunch of old images her family had of the Lucin Cutoff to Union Station’s archive recently. Her dad, James Packer, Cache County, had worked on the cutoff in 1945, as evidenced by a picture of Jack in a group with a bunch of other men, one of whom was holding a sign saying that day was his birthday.


Workers drill on Cutoff

Among the amazingly cool pictures was a small snapshot of another bridge. Marie told Lee she thought that might be the Lucin Cutoff as well, but it didn’t look right to Lee, so he started digging.


Sure enough, a week later, he hit the jackpot. He’d put a question about the bridge up on a web site called, and someone said it looked like the Victoria Bridge in Montreal, Canada.


A couple of clicks brought Lee to a web site of the bridge that shows an almost identical shot.


How cool is that?




No clue when Marie’s dad took the shot, or why. Stuff shows up in family collections all the time, but this shows the value of never tossing anything out, even if you don’t know what it is. A little bit of  hunting around can reveal surprises. There are web sites out there where people can help you find just about anything. I mean, a web site dedicated to mysterious bridges…who knew?


So thank you, Marie Haney, and cheers to Lee for a fun discovery.