How Far Would You Carry a Brick for Seven Cents
The prominent building located diagonally from you is the Zions First National Bank, originally, the Bank of Vernal. Did you know that this building was shipped to Vernal through the US Post Office brick by brick?
All of the decorative brick, 5,000 packages weighing 50 pounds each, were sent from Salt Lake City, Utah, by parcel post because it was half the rate of normal freight.
Today, Salt Lake City is only 3 hours away by automobile. In 1916, it took approximately 4 days to receive a parcel post shipment. The brick first had to travel 309 miles by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway to Mack, Colorado. It was then transferred onto the narrow gauge railroad of the Uintah Railway. From Mack, it climbed 63 miles north, up the steepest railroad grade in North America into the desert mining town of Watson. From here, the brick was loaded onto 17 six-horse wagons for the 2-day and 60 mile ride through Devil’s Playground and over the Alhandra River Ferry to Vernal.
Imagine, all of that work for only seven cents postage per brick!
This is #16 of the 21 stop history walking tour in downtown Vernal, Utah. See the other stops on this page:
- Parcel Post Bank (D.U.P. Marker #247)