dynamite photo

A measuring rod shows a 14-foot span across a hole in the ground west of Logan after an explosion rocked local residents on the night of May 2, 1954.

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The Herald Journal is always interested in local historical information, so visits to our office from Cache Valley old-timers with stories to tell are always welcome.

Last week, octogenarian Theron Blazzard paid us a call to share a photo he took in 1954, showing a 14-foot-wide hole west of Logan discovered on the morning after a large explosion shook homes and buildings in town.

At the time, some people thought the commotion and crater might have been caused by a falling meteor, but nearly 50 years later, this newspaper received an anonymous note from someone claiming he was the culprit. The letter writer said that on May 2, 1954, he was getting ready to move out of state and needed to get rid of some dynamite left over from several mining enterprises.

“I took it west of Logan, piled about 350 pounds in a gully underneath what is now the west end of the Logan City Landfill and detonated it,” the note said.

That year, Blazzard was a geology student at USU, and when the crater was discovered on the morning after the blast, he received a phone call from one of his professors, Clyde Hardy, asking him to come out and help investigate.

The photo here shows a metal yardstick used by the professor to measure the hole. As you can see, it spans about 14 feet across.

Blizzard said he specifically remembers it being a Sunday, and although he moved away to Colorado to pursue his geology career, he saved a couple of photos taken on that day.

In the end, Professor Hardy and his helpers could find no evidence of a meteor at the site, even after using a jet drill to explore several feet below the bottom of the pit. They also called in a meteor expert from the University of New Mexico who nosed around for a few days.

One photo-copied news clipping sent by the anonymous letter-writer shows a large crowd of curiosity seekers gathered around the hole. We would show the photo here, but it’s too blurry and washed out to reproduce.

Another clipping featured an installment of editor Ray Nelson’s regular column “Thots and Things,” which made humorous mention of the hoopla.

Wrote Nelson:

“Most frequent comment heard at ‘the hole’ west of town visited by thousands more curious yesterday after the dramatic explosion of Saturday midnight: ‘Oh, is that all it is?’”

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